Hair transplant is a surgical procedure of the hair and, like other surgeries, requires the administration of anaesthesia to remove the painful feeling that comes with piercing the skin. In essence, it is a treatment for numbing the scalp. With anaesthesia, the process is made easier and bearable. It is the answer to one of the most asked questions; is “does it hurt?”
It is a pre-operative procedure that all clinicians administer before the major procedure is carried out. It also makes the process faster and simpler.
Kinds of anaesthesia
There are three significant kinds of anaesthesia. They are local, regional and general anaesthesia. Local anaesthesia is in the form of sedation; hence the patient sleeps through the process. When it is administered, it puts you at ease and offers a comfortable feeling while treatment is ongoing. Local anaesthesia can also be responsible for loss of consciousness, muscle relaxation, reflexes suspension, analgesia and temporary amnesia. In general, they are given to keep the patient at rest and numb their feelings.
On the other hand, general anaesthesia causes temporary memory loss. Hence, the patient loses consciousness and cannot remember the basics of the procedure after it is done, and he regains consciousness.
Generally, anaesthesia can take two primary forms – post-operative and intraoperative measures.
Every surgical procedure comes with anxiety and fear of what is to come. To manage this feeling, the clinicians administer sedation, whether slight or deep. Usually, slight sedation does not make a patient unconscious, and he can still respond to his environment. On the other hand, deep sedation shuts down the patient’s senses. It is quite the opposite because the patient loses consciousness temporarily. Until the operation is thoroughly done, he is unaware and generally feels numb.
The primary purpose of this anaesthesia is to curb pain and can be administered through different techniques. First, it can be by infiltration through the tumescent method. Second, the process ensures that the proposed surgery site is firm and sometimes may be swollen. The swollenness and firmness are a result of the administration of a heavy dose of diluted anaesthesia. Finally, the anaesthesia also ensures that graft implantation into the patient’s tissue is carried out efficiently.
Another type of Anaesthesia is known as Vasoconstrictors. Vasoconstrictors are used for narrowing blood vessels and, therefore, help doctors arrest bleeding during the procedure. In addition, it can be compressed and used on the affected part of the body to reduce pain and inflammation.
More preference is shown for slight sedation because it offers both relaxation and consciousness. The patient sleeps throughout the whole process. It is also a way of passing the time and is unavoidable.
Also, there are post-operative measures, and they include giving anti-inflammatory drugs and medications. The medications are prescribed for oral use, usually some days after the surgical operation. In other cases, clinicians prefer to provide antibiotics for any occurrence of infection.
Complications that is likely to occur from giving anaesthesia during hair surgery
Local anaesthesia may result in adverse effects, which may be toxic, allergic or psychogenic. Although the impossibility cannot be ruled out, complications rarely occur. Often, the difficulties are a result of the patient’s nerves and fear.
When the patient is stressed even before the procedure is carried out, mild sedatives are administered. However, due to advanced technology, a comfort-in system is used to inject regular anaesthesia. It means that instead of the traditional method of using a needle, a new means known as the high-pressure punch is utilized. The punch has a measurement of 0.15mm depth and doesn’t leave any traces after it has been administered. The latter is better and more preferable for patients who are scared of injections or needles. Moreover, it doesn’t take long to administer, nor does it hurt a lot.
Using the high-pressure punch allows the anaesthesia to circulate quickly around the body. Above all, it is not as painful as the standard injection method.
Facts about hair transplantation
As a patient or educator, or enthusiast, other things to take cognizance of are:
It is possible that the patient can stay awake during the procedure but may feel dizzy. Dizziness is due to the surgeon’s sedation (usually mild) just before the procedure began.
General and deep sedation are not ordinarily administered because of complications from losing consciousness for an extended period. In addition, general anaesthesia may interfere with regular skin make-up. It poses different threats. Hence, local anaesthesia is often used as an alternative. For efficacy, the patient should be alert and responsive to the pressure punched during the operation.
Although it’s few days after surgery, the patient is bound to feel numb around his scalp region. The scalp may also be itchy for some days immediately after the procedure. These post-operative effects are safe and the only signs of healing. The pain goes away as each day passes.
Another method of administering anaesthesia is through FUT. In this method, the patient feels minimal pain within a short time, usually a week. Apart from a feeling of discomfort for a week, no other post-operative effects persist.
In conclusion, although it may be a considerable step, hair transplantation is not at all risky. It is very safe and not invasive. The process does not require general or deep anaesthesia as local anaesthesia would do. Nonetheless, it depends on the patient’s choice; whether to stay conscious or not throughout the process. Losing unconsciousness may be attractive because it helps the patient lose track of time and feels no pain.
Patients should also remember to stay away from anaesthesia to avoid allergic reactions and more significant threats. Clinicians would always advise you to choose local or mild sedatives for minimal effects.
Finally, anaesthesia can be administered through a consortium system. It is a desirable method and is very suitable for fearful patients. It doesn’t involve injection or needles and ensures proper and equal distribution of the medication in the body. More importantly, each patient should weigh the pros and cons of available techniques and consult the clinicians for the method that best suits their condition.