Hair transplantation requires minimal intervention; however, it is essential to numb the scalp because it is a big area to operate on. Therefore, anesthesia for hair transplant is used to make this entire process comfortable and safe. During the surgery, most patients are usually scared of experiencing pain and discomfort. Still, one can be rest assured that health professionals will make the whole process comfortable and stress-free.
There are three types of anesthesia which include regional, local and general. During a hair transplant, a slight sedative is used to administer local anesthesia, and that keeps the patient at ease while the treatment is being administered. Sedation is one out of the many effects of general anesthesia. Other effects include loss of consciousness, analgesia, muscle relaxation, amnesia, and suspension of reflexes.
General anesthesia will enable the patient to sleep and not remember anything afterward. Two types of measures are used to make the surgery less painful, and they include the postoperative measure and the intraoperative measure.
Slight sedation helps manage fear and anxiety; nevertheless, the patient is conscious of the environment and responsive to the surroundings. With deep sedation, the patients’ response to outside stimuli is shut down, asides from the repeated and painful stimulation. However, there is every possibility that the patient is fully aware of the other surroundings.
During the surgery, a local anesthetic is given to the patient to curb pain. Also, there is infiltration with the time scent technique. Local anesthesia is administered during this tumescent technique, making the area operated on very firm and swollen. This firmness and swollen characteristics result from the administration of a large dose of a largely diluted anesthetic. It will ensure that the implantation of the graft into the tissue is done efficiently. In addition, the extensive curbing of more significant areas of the skin can be done with the tumescent anesthesia technique without toxicity being a considerable risk.
Vasoconstrictors are used to narrow the blood vessels. In addition, these vasoconstrictions also help to reduce any bleeding that could likely occur during the transplantation process. They are also relevant to safely decrease pain and inflammation on the area to be worked on.
Slight sedation keeps the patient relaxed and also makes them feel sleepy. It as well relatively shortens the perception time frame of the surgery. This is important to the patient because the surgery takes several hours.
Postoperative measures include administering anti-inflammatory medications prescribed for use orally for a few days after the surgery. In other uncommon cases, antibiotics might be needed to be taken by the patients to curb any risk of infection.
For local anesthetic, different reactions might occur. These reactions might be toxic, psychogenic, or allergic. Nonetheless, adverse body reactions to anesthesia are uncommon.
These side effects are often caused by anxiety and fear from the patient, so for patients who are stressed out because of the surgery that is about to occur, mild sedatives are primarily used. In recent times, due to improved technology, regular anesthesia is usually administered with the comfort-in system. Rather than injecting the anesthesia medication with a needle, a high-pressure punch is used instead.
This high-pressure pump has a depth of 0.15mm and doesn’t leave any mark after its administration. Because of this, this comfort in anesthesia is a better option for patients who fear needles and injections. The process lasts for a few seconds, and the patient feels only slight pressure.
This comfort-in system also allows the anesthetic to spread faster because the high pressure used will better and ensure even distribution over the surface area. Another advantage of this system is that it is less painful when compared to when a standard syringe is used.
During hair transplant surgery, the patient will be awake even though the patient might feel dizzy. This sleepiness is caused by the mild sedation administered to the patient just before the surgery. Deep sedatives and general anesthesia will make the person lose consciousness, but these are not used for hair transplants.
There is no use of general anesthesia during hair transplant because the process invokes only a mild intervention on the skin. This isn’t so serious as the use of local anesthesia can manage it.
However, general anesthesia poses some risks for the patient, which is just a better option to avoid this. In addition, it is just better and advisable for the patient to be responsive and fully aware of surrounding pressure or tugging during the surgery process.
A few days after the surgery, there is a huge possibility that the patient might experience a slight loss of sensation around the scalp area. In addition, the scalp might also become itchy. However, the above-listed side effects can be classified and normal and safe, as they only show that the incisions are healing. When compared with the FUT method, patients rarely complain of any significant pain after the surgery process; only some feelings of discomfort persist for a week after the surgery process.
Hair transplantation is a safe type of surgery, and it is minimally invasive and can be done with local anesthetic only. Some patients might prefer to stay unconscious during the surgery process to avoid feeling anxious and lose track of time by having a false perception of the time. Nonetheless, it is not advisable to use a general anesthetic as they pose allergy risks and other adverse side reactions. A mild sedative should be used instead to make the patient feel at ease. It enables the patient to remain awake and aware of the environment while properly interacting with the staff.
In addition, the anesthetic can be used for the patients via the comfort-in system. It is most suitable for patients who are scared of pain and needle. This method is less painful than when a syringe is used and it, of course, enables the even distribution of the anesthetic over the scalp area of the hair.