Up to a month before the procedure
In the early stages of your hair transplant preparation, you’ll want to make sure that your travel and accommodation arrangements are all in order.
- Hotel — If you don’t live near our surgery clinic, you’ll need to make sure you’ve booked a hotel nearby so you can get a good nights sleep before your surgery.
- Travel — It’s also important that you arrange for a taxi to take you home after your surgery, or alternatively, a friend who can pick you up. You’ll be recovering from anaesthesia and will feel very groggy at the end of the day, so it’s not safe to drive yourself home.
- Time off work — It goes without saying that you’ll need to book time off for your surgery, as well as enough time to recuperate after your procedure. The sooner you book this time off work, the sooner you can relax knowing that you’re all set fir your surgery date.
One month before the procedure
With your procedure just four weeks away, now is the time to ensure your scalp is as healthy as possible in preparation for your hair transplant. To do this, you should begin to massage your scalp between 10-30 minutes per day — or you could get your partner or family member to do it for you if it’s easier. This routine will help to regulate blood flow, even the skin tone of your scalp and will promote the healing process after your operation.
Speak to your doctor
We always advise that prospective patients speak with their doctor to assess whether they’re suitable for a hair transplant procedure. While it’s a good idea to check this as early as possible, one month before the transplant is a good time for one last check up to make sure there will be no complications.
Your doctor may ask you to take a blood test or have an ECG done to ensure you are in the best health possible. Anaesthesia always carries a risk, so doctors want to be sure you’re not put under any unnecessary strain.
You may also be prescribed Minoxidil at this point, which is the generic name of popular hair regrowth drugs. This will depend on where you’re balding and where the transplant will take place on your head. If you’re already taking Minoxidil, however, your doctor may ask that you stop taking the medication before your procedure — again, this will depend on where your transplant is located and the severity of your hair loss.
Two weeks prior to the hair transplant
As the days creep up to your procedure, there are a few things you should begin doing to ensure you have a healthy healing process.
Check up with your doctor
Two weeks before your procedure, it’s a good idea to catch up with your doctor so they can advise you on whether you should stop taking any specific medication. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medication, for example, can cause unnecessary bleeding or make it more difficult for your wounds to heal after your surgery.
You should also let your doctor know if you’re taking beta-blockers, blood thinning pills or anti-depressants as they can also impact the healing process. Alternatively, you may be asked to start taking Vitamin C tablets to help quicken your healing.
You should always follow your doctor’s advice, however, as they can make the final call as to whether the benefits outweigh the risk when taking your medication.
Stop drinking alcohol
The two week mark before your transplant is when you should also avoid drinking alcohol. This is due to the fact that alcohol widens the blood vessels, therefore increasing swelling at the incision site. Some doctors may tell you that you can wait up to three days before your procedure to quit drinking, but the sooner you can ditch the alcohol the better for your body.
Stop cutting your hair
You should also refrain from cutting your hair at this stage. This is particularly important if your donor areas are already short in length. Your surgeon will trim your hair during the procedure to ensure they’re the optimal length for transplanting, which means that accidentally cutting your hair too short can make this process difficult.
One week before the procedure
At this time, you should quit smoking if you do smoke. Smoking makes it more difficult for the body to heal after an incision, as anything with nicotine can make it more difficult for the oxygen to move through your blood. This can also increase your chances of leaving scars on your incision site. Nicotine is also associated with the risk of infection.
As well as giving up smoking, you may also be given antibiotics to help control any kind of possible infection in your body. Your doctor will instruct you on what to take and how to take them.
Another way to help the healing process of your transplant at this time is to stop taking Vitamin B and E tablets if you already do — these can increase the bleeding from your wound site and make it difficult to heal.
The day of your surgery
Just before your hair transplant surgery, you should wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as normal. You should not use any additional hair products like gel or wax, as you’ll need to keep your hair relatively natural.
Your doctor will likely give you instructions on when you can have your last drink or food before the surgery. With you undergoing anaesthesia, doctors most often request you do so on an empty stomach. While doctors most commonly request you cease eating around midnight the night before your procedure, your doctor will give you his or her own instructions.
You should arrive at your surgery wearing loose fitting clothes — ideally a shirt that you don’t need to pull over your head — to ensure you don’t accidentally damage any of your incision spots while changing clothes after your procedure.
Be prepared to be groggy when you’re finished.
Should I be nervous?
It is natural to be nervous for any kind of surgery, even a relatively minor one like a hair transplant. The doctors at FUE Clinics are seasoned professionals who will take good care of you and help put your mind at ease. You’ll be talked through every step of the procedure with every step taken to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the day.
Remember, you’re getting your hair transplant for a new lease on life. If you feel nervous, focus on that aspect. You can watch our video testimonies to see some of our previous work and the lives we’ve helped change to help put your mind at ease.