Postoperative instructions - FUT
In order to contribute to healing and graft regrowth,
we ask you to comply with the following instructions :
Summary table of FUT postoperative instructions
The first night
The first night is very important. It’s absolutely crucial not to touch the grafts as they could come out of the incisions. The grafted zone needs to be hydrated by means of a spray that will be handed to you. The term over which this spray needs to be used will be specified at the end of the procedure.
You will receive a spray with a physiological fluid that you will take home with you. Vaporise the lotion over the grafted zone every 15 minutes over the course of the first night following the procedure. The first hours are of crucial importance.
If you notice no further bleeding nor liquid secretion in the recipient zone, the intervals between spraying can be progressively increased. In ideal circumstances, it’s possible to cease spraying at about 2 am or 3 am.
Washing the hair
You must wash your hair 48h prior to the procedure and subsequently wash them each day for at least a week.
Use a pH neutral shampoo (pH7) : mix water and shampoo in a plastic container and gently massage the grafted area as well as the scar with the tip of the fingers. In order to rinse, pour water over the head using the same container.
Avoid direct contact with the waterjets coming out of the shower head (due to often excessive pressure) for at least 10 days following the procedure. It might be possible that small white residue appears at the grafts after washing : this is due to the fact that the skin on top of the grafts has absorbed water. These marks generally disappear after half an hour.
However, from the day following your procedure you can already wash the suture (donor area) mornings and evenings for a week.
Simply apply pressure for about 10 minutes to the areas of concern by means of a dry gauze compress. Afterwards let it air dry rather than using a hair dryer.
An antibiotic cream (Neobacitracine : Bacitracin + Polymixin-B-Sulphate) will be handed to you at the end of your procedure. You need to apply it on the suture (donor area only) 2 times daily over the course of a week beginning the day after the procedure and this after washing and drying the hair. This cream assists wound healing and prevents any type of infection.
Avoid physical effort or any work outs for two weeks after the procedure : avoid leaning forward, blowing your nose excessively hard,... Limit your physical activity for at least an entire week (no sexual activity for 7 days). Avoid swimming for two weeks.
Avoid carrying excessively heavy items (exercises straining in particular the upper dorsal and neck muscles) for two months in order to limit exerting stress to the donor zone.
It’s possible your forehead may start swelling : this may happen on the 1st, the 2nd or even the 3rd day after the procedure. If this should be the case, keep on taking the medication as prescribed by your doctor.
We advise you in any case to hold ice to the forehead (NEVER hold ice to the grafted area) from the 1st until the 3rd or 4th day after the procedure.
Not noticing any swelling does not mean that you can stop taking the meds or stop holding ice to the forehead ; as a matter of fact, your forehead can start swelling from the 3rd or 4th day.
For what the corticosteroids are concerned, if you notice increased oedema or watery swelling you can take up to 10 X 4mg/day (start with 8 and take 10 afterwards).
If, however, the oedema is mild and not increasing in size, you can reduce the corticosteroid use to 4 daily, subsequently 2 daily and finally stop then altogether.
In general, micro-bleeding will gradually decline at the end of the procedure.
Care should be taken to clean them from the start to avoid them drying out. More severe bleeding is almost always the result of accidental actions that remove a graft from its incision. If this happens, apply pressure by means of gauze compresses or a clean cloth to the area that’s bleeding. After 10 minutes, bleeding should have stopped. Moisten and clean the area by use of your physiological spray.
It is important to prevent sideways movement with the compress, as not to remove more grafts. You can rest assured that pressing onto the grafts holds no risks.
With regard to the donor area, don’t be afraid to clean it thoroughly. A bandage will be applied at the end of the procedure and will need to be removed the morning after the procedure. From that moment you will have to start washing and cleaning the suture (donor area).
Over the following days you will need to remove all traces of blood or scabs from the donor area.
It may be possible you feel some pain after the procedure : this is completely normal and the prescribed meds (Contramal 50mg : Tramadol and Ibuprofen 600mg : Ibuprofen) will help to ease this pain. These medications work synergistically (all together they have an optimum pain reducing effect). Taking them should be spaced 6 hours apart. It is expected that you should not experience high levels of pain.
Only on rare occasions, the grafts or scars may infect as you’re still under the effects of antibiotics (it’s imperative to finish the antibiotics treatment).
Loss of sensitivity
You may experience some loss of sensitivity to the recipient area : there is no need for worry, sensitivity will return within 4 to 12 months after the procedure.
During the healing phase, scabs will appear at the grafts : moisten the grafted area by means of gauze compresses in order to allow scabs to disappear as fast as possible.
Generally, scabs will fall off within 7 to 10 days following the procedure. It’s possible to accelerate the shedding of scabs by gently massaging them when applying shampoo. Don’t scratch them too aggressively. Grafted hairs and their bulbs are often torn off together with the scab : do not worry, the stem cells are still in place and will provide new hair growth.
Please be aware that your hair will take 3 to 4 months to grow back unless your hair naturally sheds (in 5-10% of patients hairs grow immediately).
In some cases, regrowth is even slower and can start after 5 to 6 months !
It may be possible that part of the hair still present in the grafted area starts to shed. Don’t be alarmed, these hairs will regrow together with the implants.
Simultaneously, if a few grafts would fall out, don’t be alarmed : the general aspect of the grafted area remains unchanged.
You are prohibited from consuming alcohol for 48 hours after the procedure.
Avoid any direct exposure to sunlight (this includes tanning beds) for as long as you have skin rash to avoid decolourisation of the skin around the grafts.
You are allowed to wear any headgear like a cap, a beany hat, etc from the day following the procedure.
Minoxidil - Proscar
You can apply the Minoxidil from the 5th day after the procedure. With regard to Propecia (Finasteride), you can continue to use it before, during and after the procedure.