Before FUE Transplant
Once you make the final decision to undergo Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), there are a few easy steps you need to take to prepare for your procedure. Preparation for FUE begins a few days before the procedure.
Five to Ten Days before FUE:
- Medical problems – If you have any ongoing medical conditions, please discuss your upcoming hair transplant procedure with your primary care doctor as soon as possible.
- Medications – Once cleared with your primary care physician, hold off on taking medications that may thin your blood and increase the incidence of bleeding during surgery. Common medications held for this surgery include:
- Antiplatelet medications (Aspirin, Plavix and Pradaxa) due to increasing the risk of bleeding during and after the procedure
- Anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen aka Motrin or Advil and naproxen aka Aleve)
- Anticoagulation medications (warfarin aka Coumadin) and all of the newer anticoagulation medications such as Xarelto.
- Some over-the-counter products also have an anticoagulation effect and they should be avoided before most surgical procedures (Fish oil, vitamin E, Omega 3, St Johns Wart, Gingko)
- Communicate with us – You need to let your hair transplant doctor know if you have any new medical conditions or you have been taking any new medications since your initial consultation with the doctor. This will help the doctor choose medications during your hair restoration that do not interact with your existing medications. If you are not sure about whether to hold a specific medication, please call the office to inquire.
- Return your medical documents – Our office will email you the necessary paperwork to fill out prior to your procedure including the procedure consent form. Please read, sign and forward via email all pages at your earliest convenience. This will give you a head start on the day of your procedure.
Three Days before FUE:
- Avoid alcohol – Do not consume alcohol the day before as well as the day of your surgery. Combining alcohol with the medication administered during surgery may result in an adverse reaction.
- Stop smoking – If you smoke, it is advisable to stop smoking at least three to five days before your FUE procedure. Smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict thereby decreasing blood flow to the scalp. In addition, you should also refrain from smoking for the first five days after your procedure.
Two Days before Surgery:
- Scalp to Scalp – No special hair preparation is usually necessary before your FUE procedure. There are a variety of trimming or shaving for FUE procedures. Your hair on the donor area may be completely or partially trimmed with a clipper to the length of 1mm on the day of surgery. This short trim will allow for the best access as well as easy removal and placement of grafts. We can trim the entire scalp which makes it easier to harvest and place the grafts. However, at the patient’s request, we can trim only the donor areas and leave the recipient area untouched. An alternative would be to trim the donor area in layers which is called layer shaving. This is only possible if you have long hair so the areas between the shaved bands can provide enough coverage to cover the shaved areas. Layer shaving is only possible if you have long hair on the donor areas. So please don’t get a short haircut if you are considering this option. An alternative technique can be a Celebrity FUE in which the surgeon don’t need to shave any part of the scalp.
- Beard to Scalp – Razor shave beard/upper neck 2 days before procedure. Shaving 2 days prior will allow the surgeon on the day of surgery to better differentiate the hairs that are in the anagen stage (growth phase), vs. the hairs in the resting telogen phase. The hairs in the growth phase will grow in the 2 days to a length of approximately 1mm while those in the resting phase are somewhat dormant and will not grow at the same rate. Hair exhibiting active growth will be harvested while those hairs in the resting telogen phase will not be harvested and left untouched.
- Body to Scalp – Much the same as beard to scalp, patients are asked to razor shave the body areas within the donor sites 2 days prior to the procedure.
- Scalp to Eyebrow – This is a small procedure and any necessary trimming will be done at the time of surgery.
- Celebrity FUE – This is a very popular choice for those patients wishing to have FUE performed by a virtually undetectable method. There is no prior hair preparation involved as limited individual trimming is done during the procedure. You need to keep your hair long and the hairs that are used in the transplant are trimmed one by one.
Day of Procedure:
- Dress Comfortably – It is important to be comfortable during surgery as surgery may range from five to ten hours depending on the number of grafts. Dress comfortably. Wear a shirt that can easily be unbuttoned from the front. Please avoid wearing shirts which need to be pulled over your head in order to prevent the likelihood of contacting and dislodging the grafts.
- Wash Your Hair – You should shower and wash your hair in the morning prior to arriving at our office. Use your regular shampoo but do not apply products such as mouse, hairspray or gel to your hair the morning of your surgery.
- No Breakfast – Do not eat after midnight. You may however have clear liquids like water or apple juice but avoid coffee or caffeinated beverages. These products will negate the relaxing effect of the sedatives given during your procedure. Our office will provide you with a mid-morning breakfast and an afternoon lunch.
- Arranging for Post-Op – You will most likely receive sedatives at the beginning and throughout the surgery to help keep you relaxed. Please arrange post-op transportation with a family member or friend as you will be unable to drive due to the sedation used during your FUE procedure. As a courtesy, our office can help arrange a ride home for you if need be.
An FUE hair transplant is a skin level, non-invasive outpatient procedure. As with most procedures, it can be an overwhelming endeavor. If you feel the need to obtain more information, or are unclear regarding any of the above instructions, please call our office. Our trained staff will gladly assist you further with your inquiries.