Medical tourism continues to increase in popularity each year. Some travel for the best results and others travel to find the lowest prices. When selecting a hair transplant surgeon, the only thing that you should consider is the results. Regardless, in this article, we will be explaining when it is safe to travel back home after undergoing a hair transplant procedure.
What To Expect After A Hair Transplant
Immediately after a hair transplant procedure, you will have some minor swelling and bleeding. Scabs begin to form around the micro-incision sites around the second day. These scabs adhere to the transplanted grafts. For the first three days, it is vital to take care of the grafts carefully, because the grafts can be dislodged and lost quickly.
The donor area should begin to heal rapidly within the first three days. The healing process can differ depending on the surgical harvesting technique. For Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), the donor area will begin to heal within the first three days, and by the fifth day, the scabs will be off.
The donor area takes longer to heal if you undergo Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS). The incision site will begin to improve rapidly within the first few days; however, no pressure or weight can be put on the neck or head because the scar can stretch.
When Are The Grafts Secure?
Transplanted grafts anchor quickly into the scalp. However, adherent scabs make the grafts vulnerable to tugging and pulling. According to a study conducted by Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians Dr. Robert Bernstein, 37 hair transplant patients were part of the study.
The patients were asked to return to the clinic at different times, up to two weeks after their procedures. Pulling on the hair during the first two days always resulted in a lost graft. By the sixth day pulling on a hair would no longer dislodge the graft. However, tugging on an adherent scab resulted in the lost graft up to eight days. By nine days post-op, the grafts are secure.
When Is It Safe To Travel
In general, it is safe to travel after the first three days. Some patients go back the next day without any issues. However, traveling three days, post-op, does have a risk. According to the study, pulling hair can dislodge the graft. Most patients go on the plane with a hat or some headgear, and there is a chance they can tug on their hair as they remove their cap for TSA. After three days, there shouldn't be a problem, but during the first three days, there is an increased risk.
Traveling for surgical hair restoration has become the norm. Unfortunately, there is a lot of hype around certain countries like Turkey. Truthfully, countries like Turkey have more black market FUE clinics per capita than any other nation. Selecting a qualified surgeon is vital for achieving results that will last a lifetime. The best place to research surgeons is hair loss forums because you can see the good, bad, and the ugly without bias.