Many people preparing for a hair transplant surgery wonder if this procedure will cause permanent nerve damage. Although there is only minimal risk of this type of complication, you need to understand your risk before undergoing surgery. Below, we explore the possibility of nerve problems after hair restoration and answer questions you likely share.
Can my hair transplant surgery cause nerve damage?
Any surgery presents the risk of complications. With a hair transplant, you also face these risks. Among potential side effects is some nerve damage. But the vast majority of patients recover well from surgery and never suffer these problems.
However, it is normal for your scalp to feel numb and tingly after your procedure. This is simply a short-term side effect of your nerves recovering from surgical trauma. Some patients never fully recover and continue feeling numb around their incision area.
Healing After Hair Transplant Surgery
After your hair transplant surgery, your scalp may appear red and swollen. You will also likely have scabbing at the transplant site. Bear in mind, however, that discomfort is typically mild. It goes away within two to three days. Scalp scabs also heal at about 10 days after your procedure. The scalp typically appears normal in color at about two weeks post-surgery.
With FUT surgery, the scar is typically not visible with a grade four or longer haircut. But FUE hair transplant provides far less scarring. With FUE the scars are merely tiny dots that cannot be seen with the naked eye. If you prefer very short hairstyles, ask your surgeon if you qualify for the FUE method.
How Nerves Relate to Your Hair Restoration Surgery
The nerves in your scalp form a network with many branches, just like in other parts of the body. The branches lie very close to the scalp’s surface and enable you to feel touch.
During hair restoration surgery, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the scalp that sometimes damage or sever these nerves. With the network lines of communication broken, the nerves no longer send signals of touch to your brain. As a result, you experience numbness in these areas. Areas, where this damage can occur, include the donor site and recipient site on your scalp.
The good news is that these effects typically last only a short period of time. The nerves regenerate on their own. This restores their normal functioning in only a few months.
As nerves regrow after any surgery, patients feel telltale signs of progress. These signs include very light prickling sensations, tingling, or itching. But in no time, those sensations disappear and normal nerve response returns.
All of these occurrences are quite normal for any surgical procedure. But very rarely, some patients continue feeling numb even six months or longer after the hair restoration. This points to long-term nerve damage.
To fully understand your risks associated with hair transplant, talk to your hair restoration specialist during your consultation appointment and before surgery. Ask any questions you have to feel confident about your decision to restore your hair growth through surgical means.
Of course, seeking your transplant through an experienced hair restoration clinic greatly reduces your risk of any complications. An experienced specialist uses only advanced techniques that provide them with precise control over the procedure, also ensuring your lowest risk.
The Least Risky Hair Transplant Method
Studies indicate fewer patients experience nerve damage as part of FUE surgery, as compared to FUT. This is due to FUE’s minimal invasion and minor trauma to the scalp. Most people undergoing FUE only experience bruising.
The FUT procedure has a higher chance of nerve damage because it requires the removal of a larger piece of tissue. But this risk of potential complications is very low, making FUT a worthwhile consideration when appropriate for your hair restoration needs. Even when patients experience some nerve damage, these nerves typically recover with the restoration of sensation at the surgery site.
Importance of Aftercare Following Hair Transplantation
You need aftercare following any type of surgery. This is true for dental procedures, cosmetic surgeries, and hair restoration, too. Although the risk of complications like nerve damage is certainly low with your transplant, follow-up care is important.
Transplant surgery aftercare includes following your surgeon’s advice for recovery. You also need to properly care for your scalp. This includes following hair washing instructions and waiting until your surgeon advises before returning to strenuous activities. If the clinic provides you with medications or aftercare sprays, apply these as directed to promote healing and new hair growth. When you have any questions or concerns after your transplant, call the clinic to talk to a specialist.
AZ Hair Restoration in Raleigh and Apex, NC maintains a record of excellence in FUT and FUE hair transplant surgeries. Schedule your hair restoration consultation today by calling us at (919) 615-0577 for Raleigh or (919) 830-3778 for Apex.