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Ice Compress to Reduce Swelling After a Hair Transplant?

Q:

Ice compress to reduce swelling after hair transplantHello Doctor,

My hair transplant recovery seems to be going well. I am beginning to see some signs of healing, but I am also seeing the expected swelling after the procedure.

I was wondering if it is okay for me to ice my forehead and the donor area to reduce the potential continued swelling. I will make sure to not touch the grafts in the recipient area.

A:

Thanks for the question. I am glad to hear that your recovery process is going well.

Some people may recommend putting a cold compress or ice, after a hair transplant, on the donor or recipient areas. However, it may not have much of an impact on the amount of swelling. The swelling which happens after a hair transplant is mostly post-inflammatory swelling. In general, post-inflammatory swelling is a secondary reaction to the healing of your scalp skin.

However, if putting ice around the transplanted area, such as on the forehead or on the donor area, makes you feel better, you may carefully do so as long as you take great care with the hair grafts. Make sure to keep the contact time with the ice to a minimum and do not leave the compress on one spot longer than a few seconds in order to prevent tissue ischemia (a deficiency of blood in the tissues that is caused by the blocking of local blood vessels).