Common side effects of hair transplants

Although hair transplant is done to gain positive results, there are various side effects one should be aware of. Along with the new silky hair and a reinvigorated life, the transplant might sometimes lead to few inevitable conditions. While the treatment does you good, it is important to remember that no medical procedure comes without risk. It is hence important to make an informed decision regarding the treatment by doing your research and speaking to a professional before the procedure.

There are a number of different side effects of hair transplantation. Firstly, persistent bleeding might occur in rare cases. The procedure involves implanting new grafts into your scalp meaning that there will be minimal bleeding which is expected. But in a few cases, persistent bleeding can be seen. It is seen when the patient has disease pertaining to prolonged bleeding time, on medication like anti-coagulants such as Heparin or anti-coagulants such as aspirin etc. Or have had an excess amount of alcohol prior to surgery. These issues are well planned with proper pre-op lab tests, detailed patient history and proper patient education regarding pre-op instructions.

Secondly, in very rare cases a hair transplant can lead to an infection. This can be dealt with in a straightforward fashion with the use of antibiotics. Infections can arise due to several factors such as infected hair follicles or poor method of procedure.  This is again taken care of the proper sterilized environment, scalp examination prior surgery and required the antibiotic course.

A common side effect of hair transplant is the temporary thinning of one’s hair. It is common for implanted hair to shed off post-surgery. This falls into the natural hair cycle as hair roots go into Telogen and Exogen phase which comprises of regression and shedding and then the Catagen phase which comprises of the resting of the hair roots and then finally into the Anagen phase where new hair shaft spurts out which grows long and strong.

Along with this, some might also experience a fall of the pre-existing hair post-surgery. This is typical of shock loss which can be seen in some cases with various degrees. In both cases, you normally have nothing to worry about, as the hair is expected to grow back with time.

Another side effect of transplantation is itching. Most patients face this issue post op. The itching happens due to the formation of scabs on the scalp and can be remedied using saline water spray regularly which calms the itching down.  Should the problem not subside even after 10-15 days and bothering, one must visit their surgeon to address it. Specially made moisturizing creams and ointments can help fight the issue.

Scarring is also a consequence of a hair transplant, especially for those who are predisposed to the problem. It is most likely to occur for patients who opt for FUT. Another issue could be cysts as a result of the procedure. Cysts could occur if hair follicles damage the skin and push deep into the layers. Most of the time the cysts are benign and disappear by themselves, but one must not hesitate to consult a doctor when this side effect occurs.

Pain, swelling, and numbness are all feelings one might go through due to the treatment. The pain is completely endurable and slight to no pain post-op. However, anti-inflammatory and painkiller such as Signoflam are often added for a week to reduce it until the scalp starts to heal.

Swelling is also rare; however, it could affect the forehead and area surrounding one’s eyes. It happens if the excess fluid is unable to drain itself which vary from person to person. The swelling may last a couple days and even cause a black eye in rare cases. With proper precautions, if taken as advised by your doctor it is not developed. Numbness is the inevitable outcome of the procedure, occurring in the donor area and the recipient area lasting for up to 4 – 8 weeks. But as the nerves start regenerating it slowly subsides. Just like any other issue, if the problem exceeds expectations or time frames one must consult a doctor or expert.

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