“Doc, Will It Hurt?” A Common Question Asked About Hair Restoration Surgery
No surgery is minor if you are the patient! As not only a physician who performs surgery, but as a patient who has undergone surgical procedures, I understand that everyone wants this question answered!
In the field of hair restoration surgery, we tell our patients that the procedure itself is essentially pain free. It is performed under local anesthesia so there is some slight pinching while it is being administered. I’ll tell you, though; the vast majority of our patients say that is less bothersome than what the experience at a dentist’s office. Both a short-acting and a long-acting local are used.
During the procedure, whether by the traditional strip harvesting method or by the Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) technique, the areas worked on are numb. Sometimes, patients will request a pain medication to be used at the beginning of the hair transplant procedure, but this is uncommon yet available.
Once the hair transplant is completed, there usually is a tightness feeling in the donor area and numbness where the grafts are placed. The night of the transplant, there is discomfort in the donor area—regardless of which method of harvesting was used. We offer a prescription pain medication; however, many patients will use just Tylenol. With Tylenol, people will toss and turn the first night and may not get a great night’s sleep. If they take the prescribed pain medication, nearly all report that they slept soundly.
After that first night, patients tell us that they feel fine the next morning except for numbness in both areas of surgery—which is normal with these procedures. This decreased sensation can last for a few months; not pain, but numbness. This, again, is normal and expected.
I have had thousands of patients during my long career in this field who have told me after they had undergone their hair replacement surgery, that a huge factor in why they waited so long to have it done was that they were afraid of pain. Even NFL star Wes Welker wondered what type of pain would be involved! Here is Wes on is hair transplant experience “It’s not a big deal to have the procedure done….even afterwards there was a little bit of soreness to the touch, but, overall, there was really no pain involved.” You can watch Wes share his thoughts on his hair transplant by clicking below:
Once they had the transplant, they were amazed at how little discomfort is truly involved with this procedure. They kicked themselves for having to live with the hair loss that bothered them terribly—often for many years—because of this fear. A common regret expressed by these patient was, “ I should have done it sooner”!
I invite you to come in for your hair loss consultation to learn more about we can do for you! Call 1-800-543-0660 to schedule your complimentary hair loss evaluation.
Dr. Robert Leonard
Founder and Chief Surgeon