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  1. #1
    Skeptic1st
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    Default Post Op head soreness

    Hey everyone,simple question here
    Im am now just 10 days out since my 1800 graft HT and was wondering when I can expect the sensitivity and numbness in my head to settle down.I stopped taking pain medication days ago,even tylenol, because I dont like taking it except for emergencys,but Im still very sore when resting on my softest pillow I have,or giving a light stroke when brushing my hair(including brushing on the sides).Its my understanding that when the donor strip was cut,actual nerves in my head were cut also is that correct? And that why my head is still numb with no feeling in some places?? The rest of my healing process has seemed fine and I feel great overall.Your responses are appreciated.
    Dale

  2. #2
    Member Plum's Avatar
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    The numbness and pain will definitely vary from person to person. From my own experience, I was uncomfortable sleeping for over 2 weeks because of the sensitivity and numbness. Like you, I stopped taking Tylenol very quickly and I never took the Tylenol 3s I was prescribed.

    As far as the numbness in my scalp, it gradually faded over several months. There was one spot in particular near the top right side of my head that stayed quite numb for a good 8 months. Only recently, I haven't noticed it anymore. It was really bothersome at the time though. (I am now just over the year mark.)

    Interestingly, sometimes when I am not feeling all that well, my recipient and donor areas are "hypersensitive". It's a weird sensation to try to describe, but I know that it just doesn't feel right. Again, this has gotten better over time too.

    You are correct in saying that when the skin is cut, there are some nerves that are cut as well, hence the numbness. The nerves do grow back, but it can take several months.

    Hang in there. I know it can be very disconcerting to not have feeling on your scalp. You start to wonder if you'll ever get the feeling back. Rest assured, this is normal and the feeling should return. You'll just have to be patient.

  3. #3
    Member Laserhead's Avatar
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    Hi Plum,
    Can I ask who did your hair transplant? Are you happy with the results?

  4. #4
    Member Plum's Avatar
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    Hi Laserhead,

    Sure, no problem.

    Dr. Rahal in Ottawa did my hair transplant. (He is an amazing physician by the way and I would highly recommend him.) My hair is quite fine in texture so I was concerned about getting enough density. The good news is I am very pleased with my results.

    I had temporal recessions that I wanted to have filled in. I also wanted a slight lowering of my hairline. Dr. Rahal suggested we do 2200 grafts and we ended up with just over 2400 grafts at the time of the surgery.

    If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'd be happy to address them.

  5. #5
    Member Laserhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plum View Post
    Hi Laserhead,

    Sure, no problem.

    Dr. Rahal in Ottawa did my hair transplant. (He is an amazing physician by the way and I would highly recommend him.) My hair is quite fine in texture so I was concerned about getting enough density. The good news is I am very pleased with my results.

    I had temporal recessions that I wanted to have filled in. I also wanted a slight lowering of my hairline. Dr. Rahal suggested we do 2200 grafts and we ended up with just over 2400 grafts at the time of the surgery.

    If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'd be happy to address them.
    HI Plum,
    Thanks for the quick reply! I saw some of Dr. Rahals pictures here on the forum and they looked great. Do you have any before and after pictures to put up?
    Iím happy for you Plum, you obviously picked a good doctor.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Gregory Pistone, MD's Avatar
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    Default Post op Numbness

    Hi all,
    As per Plum's comments, they are fairly accurate in terms of what to expect. Although it might be "splitting hairs", most of the numbness occurs from interrupting the cutaneous nerve endings. The only major nerve in the donor area is the occipital nerve but it's extremely deep and close to impossible to cut. Since the nerve impulses (and blood supply) travel from back to front, that's why the numbness occurs above the donor area and not below it. Little by little, the nerve endings regenerate and infiltrate the skin which is why you can have a variety of strange feelings over time, everything from tenderness, to hypersensitivity, to numbness. Regrowth time varies and can occur in a few months to a year or even more. Sometimes, there may even be a small area which remains numb but this is generally not the norm.

    Most of my patients tell me that the numbness is the most annoying aspect of a hair transplant and I can certainly understand why. Fortunately, for most people, they consider this a small price to pay to regain their hair.

  7. #7
    Member Plum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laserhead View Post
    HI Plum,
    Thanks for the quick reply! I saw some of Dr. Rahals pictures here on the forum and they looked great. Do you have any before and after pictures to put up?
    Iím happy for you Plum, you obviously picked a good doctor.
    Thank you very much. I was very confident in my choice of doctor. Tons of research on forums like these really helped solidify my decision to go beyond just thinking about having the procedure.

    As for pictures, I will see what I can dig up. I bought a new computer recently so all of my files are sitting somewhere on my archive, backup drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Pistone, MD View Post
    Hi all,
    As per Plum's comments, they are fairly accurate in terms of what to expect. Although it might be "splitting hairs", most of the numbness occurs from interrupting the cutaneous nerve endings. The only major nerve in the donor area is the occipital nerve but it's extremely deep and close to impossible to cut. Since the nerve impulses (and blood supply) travel from back to front, that's why the numbness occurs above the donor area and not below it. Little by little, the nerve endings regenerate and infiltrate the skin which is why you can have a variety of strange feelings over time, everything from tenderness, to hypersensitivity, to numbness. Regrowth time varies and can occur in a few months to a year or even more. Sometimes, there may even be a small area which remains numb but this is generally not the norm.

    Most of my patients tell me that the numbness is the most annoying aspect of a hair transplant and I can certainly understand why. Fortunately, for most people, they consider this a small price to pay to regain their hair.
    Thanks for the scientific explanation of the numbness. I find it truly amazing how these little nerve endings can regenerate.

    I must also agree that the numbness was, at least for me, the most annoying, and at times worrisome, part of the hair transplant process. Like you said, it is a small price to pay.

  8. #8
    Senior Member gillenator's Avatar
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    I experienced the same on all four of my strip procedures and each time feeling was regained in my scalp. Unless you have experienced it before, the numbness can be somewhat startling.
    "Gillenator"
    Independent Patient Advocate
    more.hair@verizon.net

    NOTE: I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice nor are they the opinions of the following endorsing physicians: Dr. James Harris, Dr. Bob True & Dr. Bob Dorin

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