After undergoing hair transplant surgery, most have minor discomfort and even some minor pain. However, the majority are under the impression that Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a painless procedure.
Unfortunately, pain can and does occur with the FUE donor harvesting technique. In this article, we will be discussing post-op FUE pain and how to soothe the pain.
Why Does Post-Op FUE Pain Occur
FUE involves a surgeon scoring the skin with a 0.7mm to 1mm punch removing follicular unit grafts individually one by one. Though Nerve damage from FUE and Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) is rare, it can and does occur. Nerve fibers that exist near the surface of the skin can become damaged during the extraction process. These damaged nerves repair themselves after a few weeks.
It is extremely rare for permanent damage to occur with FUE, as it is a minimally invasive procedure. However, it is not uncommon for patients to experience a sharp burning sensation in their donor site after surgery. This occurs because the nerve endings are repairing.
How To Sooth Post-Op FUE Pain
Post-op FUE pain can be soothed with aloe vera gel, also massaging the donor site gently can help alleviate the burning sensations. During this time patients find it difficult to sleep. This is why sleeping in an upright position, while uncomfortable can help with relieving some pain from the donor site.
The majority of patients experience pain around the second to the third week following surgery. The pain generally subsides around the 4th to 5th week once the nerves have fully healed.
Post-op pain can be uncomfortable and in some cases even unbearable. Communication with your surgeon is key. If you're experiencing prolonged pain or severe pain contact your surgeon immediately. You can be given medication that can help with neurological pain caused by nerve damage. This can help throughout the healing process.