View Full Version : consdering a ht

07-06-2009, 07:50 AM

I been reading a lot of the post about ht's for a while now and I am seriously considering getting but I do havea few concerns that I was hoping you guys could help me with.

My main reason for not wanting to get is that after surgery you are left with a lot of redness and visible marks where the hair was transplanted. I have looked at pics that people have put up and it seems to me that for at least a month after surgery you have to wear a cap etc for when you are outside in public (I could be wrong about this). I was wondering how long it takes before all the redness/marks take to disappear. My main concern is going to work - I work as a contractor so I dont get paid if I'm not at work so I wouldn't like to take too much time off work (I got to pay for the procedure some how!) + I just wearing ahat etc is gonna raise eyebrows in the office. I am sure all people who have a hair transplant have to work etc so how did you overcome this? How long until you decided it was okay to return to work?

I also did some looking around and Dr Feller does a lunch time fue. It might take longer + cost me more but I was thinking maybe this is the solution to my problems. What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Dr. Feller
07-06-2009, 01:02 PM
Redness after HT surgery is just par for the course. Some get redder than others, and in some the redness lasts longer than others. I've noticed that very light skin patients hold onto their redness longer. In my case, I had redness for almost 6 weeks after my surgery. Small price to pay for hair though in my opinion.

I don't think doing smaller surgeries is the answer as in that case you would have multiple red spots over a far greater time. Whether FUE or strip is utilized makes no difference in this instance, the redness in the recipient area will be the same.

Unfortunately few people can have an HT and have absolutely no evidence of it. The closest most can get is simply to grow the surrounding hair fairly long and use it to cover or break up the recipient area as best as possible in the frist few weeks.

The trick I tell my patients to use is to tell all those who may ask what happened to you that you went into the attic of your house and stood up too quickly and hit a rafter. The end result looks almost like an HT at about 4 days from surgery. This should be easy for you if you're in the contruction biz.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Feller

07-06-2009, 09:37 PM
Why not just tell people you had a hair transplant? Seems like this would be the easiest way to explain things and it is the truth. There is no shame in trying to improve your appearance if you can.

07-06-2009, 09:39 PM
Great advice and ideas Doctor Feller.

I was back at work and out in the public only 10 days after my surgery. I don't know if people noticed or not, but no one said anything. So, I'm guessing no one noticed, and if anyone did notice, perhaps they were just being polite.

Dr. Glenn Charles
07-08-2009, 07:06 PM
There is one other idea that comes to mind if you are concerned about redness after the procedure and don't feel comfortable wearing a hat to work. Depending on your skin type, you could try to get a little color on your face from the sun prior to the surgery. I am not recommending you go out and lay on a piece of tin foil with baby oil on your face. It is the burning of the skin that can cause long term damage. What I am suggesting is that you let your face get some brief exposure to the sun some time just before the procedure. Keep in mind that you can still get a decent tan even wearing sun block. Having a little color on your face will lesson the difference in color between the grafted area and your forehead.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD
07-09-2009, 12:13 AM
One other very important point- and that is, the value of leaving the surrounding hairs in place in the recipient areas, rather than shaving the head. This has been a point of debate amongst surgeons- whether shaving the head in the area of the grafts being placed before a hair transplant is necessary. Obviously, if there are hairs left in place, these can significantly help conceal the tiny crusts, plus Toppik (a concealing powder) can effectively be used to help with the concealing.
Personally, I prefer to leave the hair in place, as I feel that the advantages in terms of showing me the natural direction of hair growth, as well as the intraoperative appreciation of areas of thinning that need the most grafts, along with the quicker natural appearance of my patients, far outweighs the extra time it takes to perform the procedure.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS

07-14-2009, 12:44 PM
From what some docs have told me, the longer the hair is in the recipient area, the more difficult it is to follow hair direction but then I have heard other docs state that the reason they like to buzz the recipient area and/or donor area for FUE extractions is because the stubble is easier to follow and does not have the weight of gravity pulling the hair against its natural diection. Possibly it's a matter of what the doc is used to or what they are comfortable with. You have to admire Dr. Epstein's willingness to take the extra time so you have some existing hair to cover up the grafts!

I agree that the lighter toned complexions tend to show redness more and that the lingering can be longer for those patients. Could it also have something to do with callogen levels between patients? I like the idea of getting some sun and color to the area to lessen the contrast post-op. I have seen it in practice and it does work very well. Just remember the sun block like Dr. Charles stated and don't over do it.

If you do have enough existing native hair in the recipient area than IMO that's the best cover for the crusts and redness post-op. You can even try using some make-up once the crusts form. It's called foundation and today there are so many on the market that are powder crystals that you can color match exactly to your scalp. You tap it into the recipient area with a small makeup brush that comes with the makeup. Then brush out what's left and sticking to your exisitng hair. It sort of works along the same application as Dermatch except that quality makeup crystals produce a color to match your scalp, not your hair color.

Lastly, alot of what others see as suspicious is our "post-op behavior". If you act normally, then they have no occasion to look at you any different. It's when the patient tries to avoid any direct contact with others, refuses to look them in the eye, etc. Then others start wondering why you are acting so skiddish with them. I had 4 HTs and had the benefit of some level of exisiting hair to cover the effects of surgery. No one looked at me any different. Those were people I did not know or did not know very well.

I am very transparent so of course I told me family and friends and they all were excited for me and wanted to see my scalp afterward. My niece once asked me if she could play "connect the dots" on my head because she saw all of the dark crusts. She was dead serious too. Everyone got quite a laugh on that one. My wife still laughs about it. At the time I did not see alot of humor in it but I laugh now. My niece was only six years old at the time.

Times have changed. People are more informed and privy to plastic and elective procedures including HTs. I think most people today recognize that there is great work being done, and it stimulates their curiosity not criticism like it used to, providing the work was top shelf and not substandard. I see patients get teased more about Botox than HTs.

I also advocate 100% honesty. Don't lie about it. Lying leads to other lying. Not good for you or your career. Also, I have found over the past three decades that when other people ask a HT patient what happened to their scalp immediately post-op, they know you had it done. They in many instances are just being kind and want to know what your reply might be. If they know you had a HT and you say you bumped your head, they will know you are not being truthful. There is never a good reason or occasion to lie.

Maybe a better route would be to slightly bump your head on purpose and then you are not lying. Still, there's a chance some will know you had it done. If you stay honest, you'll never lose your integrity and respect they hold for you and that you hold for yourself!

07-30-2009, 03:59 PM

Thanks everyone for your responses. Sorry it took me a while to respond I didnt realise anyone had responded to this thread.

The sun tan comment was quite interesting. I'm an Indian guy with a dark complexion - I didnt realise darker skin would help disguise the effects of a HT.

Thanks again.

07-31-2009, 01:18 PM

If you turn on the e-mail notification in your user profile, you will get e-mails alerting you to replies.

Glad to be of help.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD
07-31-2009, 05:46 PM
Over the past 3 months, as I have been offering post-transplant low level laser therapy (LLLT) to all of my hair transplant patients, I have definitely observed quicker healing. My protocol is for the patient to have his/her first LLLT the first day after the procedure, sitting under the Revage laser hood for 20 to 30 minutes. Patients are then offered to come back as often as 2-3 times a week to utilize this therapy.
What I am seeing is that erythema (redness) and crusting seems to resolve more quickly, with just this past week a patient on whom I did 1620 grafts on Monday was able to see his girlfriend (who flew down to meet him in Miami) on Friday without her knowing about his procedure. He definitely still had some crusting, but it was really quite minimal. Not typical of every patient, but I do believe that him sitting under the laser 2 times facilitated this.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS