Going into the surgery, many people fear being in immense pain. Having a hair transplant isn’t easy. The before-after photos of patients that you see on billboards and posters take months in the making. You won’t see the result of your surgery right after you leave the operation theatre. After almost a year, you will notice a significant change in the density of your hair. However, before all that happens, you will have to have the surgery itself. And a question that commonly gets asked in regards to that is “does hair transplant hurt?”.
Fortunately, the medical innovations of our era have made hair transplant surgery much better than it was for our ancestors. In this process, we simply take hair follicles from the backside of the head and transfer them to another area. Depending on the number of grafts that you need, the whole surgery can approximately take 6-8 hours. In this guide, we’ll discuss the ways by which we can ensure you a less painful experience during the surgery. And so, you’ll get the answer to does a hair transplant hurt or not.
So, Does Hair Transplant Hurt?
Hair transplant is a surgical procedure, and it’s performed under local anaesthesia. This means that your surgery is going to be almost painless. So, you can relax. At Longevita, we discuss the different needs of our patients with them so that we can start the procedure accordingly. We offer needle-free anaesthesia, sedation, and numbing cream options to our patients. You can choose from the available options as you would like to have it.
If you prefer one option over the other, you can share this information with your Patient Consultant and also with the surgeon on the day of the surgery. Although hair transplant does not hurt in the traditional sense, it’s normal to have some discomfort during the process. You’ll have to wait until the medications start kicking in.
Depending on the technique that you choose to go with, the surgeon will give you specific instructions that you need to follow. For instance, your doctor will tell you to not eat or drink for a specific time period before the surgery. That’s because there’s a risk of you vomiting or getting food or liquid into your lungs which is, of course, very dangerous.
You also have to make the doctor aware of your medical history or any medications that you’re on. These can affect the local anaesthesia, so make sure to inform your surgeon about every important detail. The local anaesthetic used and its amount can vary depending on certain medical conditions, age, weight, etc.
How Does Local Anaesthesia Work?
In local anaesthesia, anaesthetics are injected in a specific part of the body so that the patient is almost pain-free during the surgery. A patient does not lose their consciousness in local anaesthesia as happens in general anaesthesia. It works by blocking the nerve transmission of pain signals to the brain.
So, in the absence of the anaesthetic, all the actions taking place during the surgery will cause you pain. However, as the nerves are not able to tell the brain that a specific area of the body is in pain, it doesn’t feel pain. It isn’t as if you’ll completely stop having any sensation in that area temporarily. You will slightly feel pressure from the harvesting of grafts in hair transplant surgery. Again, the surgery is almost pain-free. It is a very effective technique to make the patient feel safe and comfortable during surgery.
At the beginning of the procedure, the surgeon will inject the anaesthetic under the skin to numb the area. It’s normal to feel tingling or burning pain. This does not happen because of the use of needles as they are very thin. So, they’re barely felt. It’s, in fact, the medicine that produces the burning sensation in the skin. After 5-6 minutes, the medicine will start to kick in, and your head will start to get numb.
Everyone has a different pain threshold. If you start experiencing pain during the surgery, you should immediately inform the surgeon. Our surgeon will inject more anaesthetics. However, there’s a limit for a patient to take anaesthetics. It can take almost 4-6 hours until after the effects of anaesthesia start wearing off. You can feel a tingly sensation just as that happens.
What is the Needle-Free Option?
Some people have an extreme fear of hypodermic needles or injections – a condition called trypanophobia. Understandably, we want to make things as comfortable as possible for those patients who have this problem. So, we have made sure to include a needle-free option to introduce local anaesthetics in the patient’s body.
In this technique, a jet injector which spouts high-speed anaesthetic on the head is used. It then enters the skin for a nearly pain-free experience. However, needles are needed to numb the area completely after the use of jet injectors. Keep in mind that you will feel less pain than you usually would while being given local anaesthesia after the jet injectors. That’s because the jet injectors will have already numbed the area.
There are certain benefits to this method. There’s a reduced risk of infection than when an anaesthetic is administered the traditional way. Moreover, you also won’t feel the discomfort and pain as happens in the case of needles. Additionally, the needle-free option also allows for the speedy injection of the anaesthetic.
Is Getting Sedated Possible?
Yes. In this case, our surgeons will use sedatives on you. Here too, there are some pre-operative instructions that the patient needs to follow. A requirement for getting sedated for a hair transplant surgery is that the patient has to fast the night prior to the surgery. Therefore, make sure that you inform us about the choice of this option before travelling to Turkey. It is not possible to give the patient sedatives on the day of the surgery if we are not informed beforehand as we have to make special arrangements before the surgery for sedation. For us to administer the right amount of sedative, you need to inform us about your medical history. Otherwise, there’s a risk of under or over-sedation.
Is A Numbing Cream Used for Making the Surgery Painless?
We have also made this option available to our patients. Half an hour before the surgery starts, our surgeon applies the local anaesthetic cream to the donor area to numb it. With the help of this cream, you will feel less pain during the local anaesthesia.
Does Less Painful Surgery Have Anything to do With Healing?
It all comes down to the patient. The healing process can vary from one patient to another. And people have different pain thresholds. Some might consider whatever pain they’re having not that discomforting. But others might need to take painkillers to deal with pain. However, there’s no restriction against the latter as, of course, each patient has a different pain tolerance level.
The extent of balding and the number of grafts needed in turn act as an important factor in determining the overall healing timeline. More grafts mean more scars, which will then prolong the recovery period. It is generally said that you’ll see the results after a year, but individual variations always exist. We will inform you about these before the surgery so that you don’t feel worried or assume that your surgery has failed.
The answer to “does hair transplant hurt” is – not significantly because you’ll be under anaesthesia. However, you can feel pain and discomfort after the surgery. If it becomes unbearable and worsens by the day, contact us for help. If you feel that you are not getting better by the day and instead of healing, you start noticing some other troubling things, such as signs of infection, then immediately contact us.
The question that does hair transplant surgery hurt is not uncommon. The fear of pain is associated with almost every surgery. And it’s true that you’ll feel a certain, almost slight degree of pain during the surgery. However, hair transplant surgery wouldn’t be without it as it involves taking out of grafts from the donor area and cutting the skin to insert these grafts back. You will feel pressure and movements, but they will not create as much discomfort. You shouldn’t delay getting a hair transplant surgery because of the this. There’s the possibility of the slightest pain that you might feel. Soon the surgery will be over, and then you’ll have good things to look forward to.
There’s absolutely nothing to worry about. If at any point during the surgery, you start experiencing pain due to wearing off of the anaesthetic, then we will take care of you. You will easily and comfortably go through the surgery; we can assure you of that.
If you’re thinking of having a hair transplant surgery, you can book a free online consultation with us today. We are more than happy to answer all your queries regarding the surgery. So, get ready to make your trip to Turkey.