Surgical Guide

We extend our gratitude and are honored when patients chose Dr. Ken Williams for their hair surgical restoration procedure. We understand how exciting it is to make such a momentous decision to restore your youth, confidence and appearance. Once you have decided to have your surgery, we want our patients to be fully prepared wit the following information:

BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE

Ten (10) days prior to your procedure please do not take aspirin or Vitamin E, Gingko Biloba, or any multivitamins (these contain Vitamin E). Please also check your medication and all over-the- counter medications so you don’t take any aspirin or anti-inflammatories like Advil, Naprosyn, or Ibuprofen. Medications contain aspirin so please be sure to read all medication labels. You may take acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) in place of aspirin. For best healing refrain from smoking during this time period and one week after. We recommend Vitamin C (1000 to 2000 mg a day) for 1 week prior to your procedure to improve healing.

Three (3) days prior to your procedure in addition to aspirin containing products avoid drinking alcohol and avoid sun exposure.

Transportation

Arrangements for transportation home after the procedure will be required if you receive any sedation during the procedure. The type and route of sedation you receive will be up to you and the doctor. Patients choose to take an oral sedative medication for a relaxing experience during the surgery. FUE procedures typically take to 8 to complete hours depending upon the number of grafts.

Out of town guests should make arrangements with the office for transportation and hotel accommodations. If you need any help please call our office for suggestions.

The color of the Hair

If you have white or “salt and pepper” colored hair, FUE will require that the donor area be colored with a darker appearance. The day prior to the surgical procedure, you will be seen and evaluated by Dr. Williams. Our staff will apply all dyes in the office the day prior to surgery. For the strip harvesting transplant surgery, the application of a darker colored dye may be needed and varies from patient-to-patient.

Hair Length

We make extraordinary efforts to please our patients preferred hairstyle and length when having hair transplant surgery. For our male patients who desire to keep their hair short, we recommend a zero (0) hair cut. If you like to maintain a longer hair length, please don’t cut your hair as we will perform all necessary hair length adjustments the day of your pre-operative visit. Depending upon the number of grafts harvested, a small area of your safe donor region may need a short hair cut. If a larger size hair transplant case is planned, the entire back and/or sides of the scalp may be required to be 1 mm in length.

THE DAY OF YOUR PROCEDURE

On the day of the surgery, we want our patients to consume a regular breakfast but refrain from caffeine in the morning. You will be provided lunch and offered snack breaks during your procedure.

Routine prescribed medicines (e.g. cholesterol, hormones) should be taken in the morning. Sometimes certain blood pressure and blood thinning medication need to be stopped a few or several days prior to surgery. Dr Williams will discuss medications with you at your pre op or consultation appointment.

We recommend our patient wear pajamas, comfortable sweat pants, or surgical scrubs for the surgical procedure. During the procedure, we recommend comfortable pants and an old tee shirt. Hair transplant surgery requires frequent misting of the donor and recipient sites with normal salain. This may result in the tee shirt not to be worn after the surgery. When leaving the office after the procedure, a shirt that can be buttoned in the front rather than a pull-over is ideal. Keep all jewelry at home. Be prepared to remove contact lenses before your procedure if you normally remove them to sleep.

AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE

A prescription for oral antibiotics, sleep and pain medications will be provided by the office prior to the surgery. If you are not able to take antibiotics due to allergies please let us know before your procedure. This will allow us to phone in your prescription to your local pharmacy.

Sleeping and Physical Activity

The first night of the surgery, we encourage patient to sleep with their heads elevated on several pillows or supported by a cervical pillow. An old towel should be placed under the head as superficial wound oozing and fluid are frequently encountered. We will provide a sleeping prescription upon your request.

A head dressing will be applied to the head after the surgery. Post operative instructions will be given and reviewed post operatively with patients and their care givers. Wearing a hat or other head cover provides adequate protection but is not recommended until 5-7 days.

As a general rule, avoid any strenuous physical activity the first 2 to 5 days to prevent loss of grafts or increased swelling. After 5 days, you may resume light weight lifting, light exercise, and walking on a treadmill or the use of a spin cycle. Swimming can be resumed at 5 days for FUE patients and 10 days for patient having strip harvesting.

Caring for and Cleaning the Scalp

Your scalp will be cleaned before leaving the office after your procedure. Occasionally there is some slight ozzing of blood from the donor and recipient areas for the the first 24 hours.

Most patients return to the office the first immediate day after the procedure to have their hair washed and dressings changed. Post operative instructions are reviewed each and every visit.

You may have your hair cut as soon as 1-2 weeks after the procedure. Hair coloring is permitted 2 weeks after your procedure.

What can I expect Postoperatively?

FUE harvesting results in less post operative symptoms and post operative complications. Strip harvesting results generally in more pain in the donor region. Both harvesting procedure can result in minimal to severe patient discomfort, and postoperative experiences vary from patient to patient.

Facial swelling is common as the tumescence used for anesthesia of the scalp is pulled by gravity down the forehead, eyes, and cheeks. These side effects are transient and not permanent and may last 3-5 days. Some patients develop numbness and itching at the graft and donor sites are healing. These symptoms may take several weeks to resolve.

For prolong itching, we recommend over the counter anti-itching creams purchased at your local pharmacy. Sometimes we need to prescribed a stronger anti- itching medication such as Prednisone, as the itching can be in some people intense.

Some of the transplanted hairs may fall off with the crusts at five (5) to seven (7) days. DO NOT PANIC for these are only the hair shafts and the follicle remains in the dermis. Most of the rest of the transplanted hairs will fall out over the next two (2) to four (4) weeks.

During the post surgical period, it is very common for patients to become discouraged. This time period for patients momentarily passes and when new hair grows back, patients will experience once again the enthusiasm first experienced immediately after hair surgery. The new hair shafts grow at the normal rate of one half to 1 inch a month. Sometimes it can take 12 to 18 months or more for all the hairs to start growing.

As the hair follicle remains in the scalp, scalp hair shafts will begin entering the Anagen growth phase of the hair cycle in a 6- 12 month period. As the hair follicle emerge from the scalp, occasionally acne-like pimples may occur. If this happens, apply warm soaks and with a little pressure the pimple may be popped and a new hair shaft will be exposed. To accelerate the growth of the new hairs, our office recommends patients begin applying 5% minoxidil (extra strength Rogaine®) once or twice a day starting three weeks after the procedure. Female patients should can also use 5% Minoxidil. If the Minoxidil should cause redness or irritation of the scalp, stop using it for 1 week then resume once every other day.