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Hair Transplant Complication – Swelling

Swelling is one of the common short term side effects of hair transplantation.  Most people who get a hair transplant in the front and top areas of their scalp experience some degrees of sweeling in the transplanted area and forehead.  Swelling or skin edema may last up to 3 or 4 days and typically disappears suddenly in days 4 or 5 following the hair transplant.

The cause of swelling is mostly due to the inflammatory reaction of healing incisions following a hair transplant and it is generally unrelated to intraoperative injection of anesthetic solutions.  Patients may not have any swelling for the first day or two after hair transplant, but may start to notice such swelling at day 3 or 4 after the procedure.

There are several methods to minimize the swelling such as:

  1. Sleeping in semi-seated position for the first few nights after hair transpalnt surgery.  Keeping head above the level of chest can significantly help to minimize the rate of swelling.
  2. Use of systemic anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids after a hair transplant.  We prescribe steroids for a short period to most hair transplant patients to minimize post op swelling.
  3. Use of elastic bandage to wrap the forehead (should be only done if instructed by the surgeon).
  4. Local infiltration of diluted steroid solutions into the recipient area during surgery.  This method can be used on selected patients.

There has been a recent study by Dr. G. Abbasi on the effect of diluted solution of steroid to minimize the rate of swelling after a hair transplant in the journal of Aesthetic Surgery recently that explain the result of the study of steroid injections on swelling after a hair restoration.  We, at Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration, use this option for patients who are known for their swelling side effects to minimize or eliminate the swelling after a hair restoration.