Week 1: Pre-, Mid-, and Post-surgery Details
1. Before hair transplant surgery
Of course, obtaining all this information would have been extremely difficult and tedious without the assistance of the clinic’s international patient representative, Edward. He walked me through the process, answered all my questions, and translated the doctor’s consultation live. My Korean is intermediate at best, but especially when it comes to specific topics and vocabulary related to surgical procedures, I’m lost. Having an English-speaking representative was a huge advantage.
NO smoking or drinking before surgery and wear a button-up shirt to the clinic. If you wear a t-shirt, you’ll probably have to cut it off your body with scissors because it’s not going over your head!
After a final consultation with the doctor, I changed into my surgery clothes and slippers around 10 am. Let’s call the color “salmon”…
2. During hair transplant surgery
By 10:30 am my head was prepped and they started local anesthesia. There are a few big positives worth mentioning here: First, this clinic likes to keep you awake so you can be aware of the process, and just in case there are any issues they need to discuss with you. Second, as you can notice in the picture, it’s not just 1 doctor and a nurse working on me. Actually, there were 6 or 7 medical workers there to assist my procedure. Also, they provide entertainment via TV, movies, and/or music along with water and snacks. It’s a long surgery and having some distractions helps immensely.
We took a couple breaks during surgery. This was at lunchtime (around 1 pm). You can see they had filled in some of my forehead at this point. You may also notice my head is quite swollen, which is normal. This gradually went away over the next 2-3 days.
Lunchtime! They provided a nice lunch, along with toothpaste and a toothbrush, to freshen up for round 2 (which lasted until around 6:45 pm).
3. After hair transplant surgery
After surgery, they wrapped my head in bandages, gave me some painkillers and post-care instructions, and showed me how to slip on this “stylish” beanie. Not my first choice for summertime, but it made my condition much less obvious as I headed home after the procedure!
4. Day 1 after hair transplant surgery
The day after surgery, I went back to have the bandages removed, get a special shampooing, and receive more instructions and supplies for the coming days. Again, you should note that my head is still quite swollen, so the hairline you see here is “raised” a bit. You can also clearly see the red dots from the donor area on the backside of my head in one pic, along with a nice close-up of the transplanted area from a top view.
1. Do NOT touch your transplanted hair at all for 2 weeks. It takes discipline, but you’ve already made the mental and financial commitment, so just push through and do it!
2. Sleep on your back very carefully, being sure not to rub or bump your hair. This, too, takes effort and you may lose a little sleep, but it will be worth it if you have great results—at least that’s what I’m hoping!
3. Follow all given instructions for shampooing.
4. Spray provided tonic on recipient areas every 30 minutes or so until the bottle is gone. They told me this would take 2-3 days, but because of work, etc, the bottle lasted around 5 days. Just spray as much as possible and you should be okay.
5. NO smoking, drinking, sex or exercise for 2 weeks! There is more detailed info about this that you will receive with your aftercare package at Forhair Clinic.
5. Day 4 after hair transplant surgery
In my office a few days after surgery. You can see the swelling has gone down significantly and my transplanted areas are not as red.
Goofing off with my daughter about 4 days after surgery. At this point, the swelling was completely gone. The main inconvenience here is finding a comfortable position to sleep in and some itchiness from not being able to scrub your head while shampooing. Again, these are realities you must be ready and willing to accept if you plan on getting surgery. In the moment, it may seem tough, but when you think about the upcoming results, in my opinion, it’s a small price to pay.
6. 1 week after hair transplant surgery