Strip Recovery

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is commonly called Strip Transplants. It is invasive surgery that leaves a vertical scar on the back of the head. However, advanced wound closure techniques can create a cosmetically acceptable scar, and preserve the most hair. FUT remains the gold standard for hair restoration.

Healing time and recovery are unique to each patient.

Healing and Recovery

After surgery, you head will be wrapped in bandages to protect the incision site which will be tender for a few days. A post-operative follow-up appointment will be scheduled for the day or two after surgery. It is important to follow all post-operative instructions to prevent infections and discomfort.

Because the human scalp contains numerous blood vessels, it will heal well but the FUT incision takes time to heal.  Swelling is common, and there may be some bruising that will resolve. The donor site will be uncomfortable and tender for a few weeks.

Dr. Powell will discuss healing with you and you will receive written instructions that will help you heal well. Failure to follow these instructions can result in damage and even hair loss.

Downtime is generally only a week or so, but this is individual to each patient.

Recovery time proceeds as follows:

  • Healing from FUT requires more time than other techniques because of the incision. The first week is a crucial period when the area will be painful. You may feel a throbbing sensation, and the scalp will feel tight. The wound is fresh. You will receive a prescription for antibiotics and pain medications.

    The scalp may become numb after the pain resolves. There may be some itching as the area heals. The stitches will be removed within a week to ten days after the procedure.

  • The area where the follicular units are transplanted will heal more quickly, but the first week is important because the transplants are vulnerable. There may be forehead swelling 4-6 days after the procedure, and the transplanted area will crust over so it is important to gently wash the area.
  • The transplanted hairs will fall out a week after the procedure. This is normal.
  • The follicular units remain in the scalp and begin to produce new hair within 2-3 months.
  • This new hair will grow normally, at a rate of about ½ to 1 inch per month.
  • By eight months healing will be complete but full results can take up to a year.

At Powell Medical Hair Restoration in Encinitas, CA, you can expect top quality care and state-of-the-art procedures executed with extensive experience that deliver the most natural looking results.


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