- As soon as you book your surgery, we will send a packet in the mail with complete pre- and post-op instructions as well as prescriptions for your surgery. Go ahead and fill these prescriptions. Feel free to call the office at 504-836-2050 if you have any questions or concerns about the medications. Be sure Dr. Rogers knows if you cannot take any of the prescribed medications.
- You will be scheduled for a pre-op appointment the day before surgery to answer final questions, sign the consent, take photos, and review the surgical plan. Bring the packet with you to this appointment. If this is not possible we will do all this on the morning of surgery.
- Wash with Head and Shoulders (or equivalent dandruff shampoo) daily up until your surgery. It is helpful to use shampoo containing zinc pyrithione (Head and Shoulders), ketoconazole (Nizoral shampoo), or selenium sulfide (Selsun blue). All are available over the counter without a prescription. These help to optimize the scalp microenvironment prior to surgery.
- Double-check with your internist to be sure that your blood pressure is controlled. If you need to start on medication, allow several weeks for your body to adjust before your surgery date.
- Arrange to have a ride the day of surgery. This is especially important if you decide to take the prescribed sedative before surgery.
Day of Surgery
- Have a good breakfast the day of surgery. In addition, take the prescribed prophylactic antibiotic one hour before surgery.
- Wear a button-down shirt the day of surgery. This way you can take off the shirt when you change into a gown, and easily put it back on after we have put on your bandage.
- Feel free to bring several DVDs to watch on our large screen television. We also provide a selection of movies to choose from (click here for selection). Our recent addition of wireless earphones will enhance your viewing pleasure.
- Lunch will be provided. At this time you are welcome to stretch, use the restroom, and check your phone messages.
- We will apply a bandana to wear over the bandage once you leave the office. You may remove the bandana when you get home but we encourage you to leave the bandage on overnight.
- If you are given a mild sedative during the procedure, you should NOT drive. Please plan for someone to pick you up after the surgery. If this is not possible we are happy to arrange transportation for you.
- Plan to take it easy the first 24-48 hours after your procedure. Many people want to clean their house, go shopping, and work out as soon as they wake up the next morning. We encourage you to REST! While this is only a skin surgery, it still requires your body to do significant healing. You will be able to watch movies, read, or work on a computer.
- When you wake up in the morning you may remove the bandage.
- Spray transplanted areas with the provided saline spray at least 2-3 times per day for the first 48 hours. You may shower but use a large cup to gently pour warm water over the grafts. Alternatively, you may lay a washcloth (provided) on the head to protect the grafts from the full force of the shower head.
- Finish all prescribed medications, as instructed. For most people, this includes the following:
Prednisone (take daily for 3-5 days to prevent forehead swelling)Antibiotic (taken prophylactically to prevent infection)Pain medication (taken every 4-6 hours as needed for discomfort)
- Apply Polysporin ointment to the donor area 1-2 times daily for 7 full days
- Starting on day 3, you may start shampooing. Try to use some form of dandruff shampoo at least 3x per week for the first 6-12 months after surgery.
- Starting on day 7 you may return to full physical activities. This includes running, swimming, weight-lifting, and other vigorous activities.
- Starting on day 7 we also recommend starting topical minoxidil. This will help optimize the growth conditions for the transplanted follicles. It can specifically increase the survival and the yield of all transplanted grafts. It should be used daily for the first 6-12 months after surgery.
- Many patients complain of scalp itching. It is imperative not to scratch or pick at the grafts. We recommend pouring cool water over the grafts or using an OTC lotion such as Cetaphil or Cerave to help moisturize the grafted area and reduce itching during the healing process.
Follow-up After Surgery
At 1-2 weeks: We will discuss how you are healing, examine your grafts, trim your sutures, and inject anti-inflammatory medicine to any areas of itching or tenderness.
At 3 months: We will again see how you are healing. You will probably have shedding of a number of the transplanted grafts by this visit. This is totally normal. It occurs because the transplanted grafts enter a resting phase before they cycle back into the growth phase.
At 6 months: At this point you should start to see some early growth of the transplanted hairs.
At 9 months: You will start to see a good amount of grafts growing in. However it will not be the final result, because the hair growth process is so gradual.
At 12-18 months: You should be able to appreciate your final results. A small minority of patients (whom we call “slow-growers”) may have such delayed anagen phase that hair growth occurs even later than 12 months. We encourage these patients to continue to follow up with us until they are happy with their results.