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  1. #1
    Dr Representative Spex's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Default HT Info Pack

    Hi Guys - Great forum! - Hope it's ok to post here..

    Here is a variety of HT info which i have put together over the years to help inform new guys venturing into their own journey's with HT's.

    HT Info Pack:

    Here are some general tips -

    Before Tips

    1. Stay local to the HT clinic

    2. Get to the clinic early in order to not be rushed as this will allow you ample time to go through everything with the Dr.

    3. Have a list of questions for the Dr that you want answering.

    4. Take 2 loose hats with you. (one might not fit)

    5. Take a travel pillow, very handy. Especially on the journey home.

    6. Get to bed early the night before. Aided sleep is advisable.

    7. Get a massage the day before. Loads of places down in China Town(NYC)

    8. Wear a buttoned up shirt for the day of surgery. Easy to get on and off.

    9. Avoid - Alcohol, vitamins, minoxodil, MSM 7 days pre op. Can thin the blood.

    10. Wash hair the morning of the surgery and wear lots of deodorant. Its a long sweaty day you don't want to be stinking out the place

    11. Make sure you have made your story clear to various people that you are away for the next 2/3/4 weeks

    12. Make damned sure you've filled your Vicodin prescription BEFORE you get re-haired (de-balded?), as opposed to waiting until the night before because "hey, this is New York, of course I'll find an all-night pharmacy...)

    13. I would advise taking the pain killers regularly, even before the pain starts

    14. Have the clinic take lots of pre op pics in order to have a controlled
    comparison for post op

    Additional tips from other guys:

    1. My tip to anyone travelling long distances is to fly home the day after surgery! At one day post-op I had no swelling and no pain because my head was still totally numb! I flew home four days post-op and my head looked like a balloon and the aneasthetic was beginning to wear off which made for a long and uncomfortable flight home!!!!!

    2. Have the doc wash your hair the day after reduces scabing and you won't spend the next two weeks looking in the mirror waiting for them to fall off.

    3. If you are going to do zero percent credit card, sign up the month before the procedure not the month after. they don't like 10K balance transfer and won't give you a high enough limit.

    4. Sun screen on the graft for the first four months. Otherwise if you get too much exsposure you'll peel really bad and have redness for months.

    5. Read the post op instructions before you have the HT. Write down any key questions and tick them off before you leave the surgery. Its easy to forget to ask, what with the injections etc.

    6. Use a bandana - its more comfortable than the baseball hat and covers more of the head.

    7. Bring button-up shirts - easier to take off.

    8. Figure out your communications strategy. I decided to tell people on a need to know basis which meant that I told only a few.

    9. Do not watch comedy DVD's during the procedure - It can result in you laughing and moving your head at the wrong time!


    11. Take a MP3, IPOD or CD player

    Airport Security

    The best way to do it is to make sure there is nothing on you to slow down your smooth passage through security. Remove all items such as watch, keys, change, bangels, chains, ...anything that could cause a bleep..
    As you walk through remove your cap casually and calmly. They will not specifically be looking at you head at all... you will be ultra paranoid They will maybe glance and then once your through that vital 10 secs just casually pop the hat back on.
    You will never ever see the sercurity guy again so who gives if he suspects..and the people behind you will be too stressed out taking all their crap off and sticking into the machine for scanning.
    Another alternative is you can always ask for a private room........ but to be honest , just not needed!!

    Immed After Tips

    1.Never underestimate the recovery time needed. Get the absolute max amount of time off work. You will feel fine after a couple of days but you will look terrible. Its not so bad if you can wear a cap.

    2. Remove all mirrors from your house, car, office etc Seriously!

    3. Sleep upright /45degree angle to aid swelling

    4. Apply huge amounts of Aloe Vera to both donor and recipient area 5 days after. (2 x a day minimum)

    5. Distilled witch hazel helps with redness (apply 7/8 days post op)

    6. Get on MSM (makes hair grow faster)

    7. Drink lots of water / fluids

    8. Bend at the knees for first 3/4 days

    9. First 3/4 days just put shampoo in a cup and pour it over the recipient and donor area. Then build up to a shower but shield your recipient with your hand and dab on shampoo.

    10. Have a couple of beers and soak your head in a hot bath prior to Staple removal

    11. Rest as much as possible

    12. No physical activity for 10 days then build it up.
    2 weeks post op........

    1. Stop staring in the mirror all the time

    2. Start up physical exercise gradually

    3. Start Minox if you want to help speed up growth

    4. Stop inspecting scar/ donor area all the time! Its takes months to fade.

    5. Put the HT on the back burner now for at least 4/5 months

    6. Take some clear pics to compare you situation at various stages

    Post op Redness

    Post-op redness will occur both in the recipient area and the donor area. The degree and length of time in which both areas will remain pink or red, will largely depend on the individual's skin tone. Redness in the recipient area occurs due to the presence of newly formed blood vessels and inflammation from the placement of the new grafts.

    Redness in the donor area occurs where the strip was removed and is basically a wound that will eventually heal. Once the wound has fully healed, the scar should appear as a pencil thin, white line that is difficult to locate provided the surgeon skillfully applied the latest techniques when removing the donor strip and closing this area.
    For individuals with a higher degree of hair loss, the redness will be more apparent than with those who are able to partially camouflage the area with existing hairs.
    Suntan (avoid burning) a few weeks prior to surgery. After surgery and once the grafts have shed, cosmetic attempts can be made to mask the redness in the recipient area.

    The hair surrounding the donor area can be cut as low as a #2 razor guard (1/4"), and still conceal the donor wound. Depending on the thickness and density of the individual's hair. Typically 1/4" - 1/2" of existing hair, is sufficient enough to assist with covering the area.


    Pimpoles may occur on the recipient area. This is normal and should not cause any discomfort. To the touch, a pimple may be a bit sore (as with a pimple anywhere else on your body). If pimples do appear, they typically do so a month after surgery. Many patients have reported pimples appearing for months after surgery. It is thought that pimples occur due to fragments of skin or hair that may have been caught beneath the skin's surface.

    I have recommended Tea Tree oil to a couple of recent HT guys who have experienced little pimples post op and it seems to have resolved their situ's - Also a very hot flannel applied to the recipient area can help draw them out and help!

    Scabbing and Shedding Grafts

    Once the grafts are placed into the recipient area, the grafts are held in by fibrin, produced by a chemical reaction in serum when the graft sites are made. Typically, the grafts will become fully secure by the eighth day. Scabs will begin to form the day after surgery. On average, scabs will remain present for up to 10 days.

    If a scab falls out and there is a hair present in the scab, this is completely normal. As long as blood is not present and tissue does not appear around the hair, assume the graft is fine. Once the scabs have completely disappeared, you will have the appearance of a buzz cut. Within the next 2-6 weeks, these hairs will begin to shed and the recipient area will appear as it was prior to surgery. The grafts are merely in a resting phase and will begin its growth cycle in approximately 3 months.

    The next phase of post-op surgery, is the most difficult; waiting for your new hair to grow in.

    Staple/Sutures Removal

    The staples or sutures (depending on the surgeon's technique) typically remain in place for approximately 10 days post surgery. Surgeons encourage that you come back to the clinic to have them removed, but will provide you with instructions for removing them should a visit to the surgeon not be possible.

    The scar that will remain once the staples or sutures are removed will become less and less noticeable as months pass and will eventually turn into a pencil thin, white line.

    Prior to having the staples removed or sutures removed (this tip is more applicable to staples), have a long shower and soak the donor area. When scabs are dry, there tends to be a tiny pinch when the staples are removed. Soaking the donor area will moisten the scabs and minimize any discomfort.

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