How Does Local Anesthesia in a Hair Transplant Work?

The hair transplant market as a whole is expanding in size, where pre-pandemic demand levels are recuperating and are expected to increase even more. With about 35 million men and 21 million women in the U.S. dealing with hair loss, these rates are going nowhere but up.

Anyone who is experiencing hair loss may benefit greatly from hair transplantation. Whether or not anesthesia is required for hair transplant surgery is a frequently asked issue.

So, keep on reading for our full breakdown of everything you need to know about using local anesthetic when it comes to hair transplant procedures.

The Intersection of Hair Transplant and Local Anesthesia

A surgical procedure, hair transplantation is carried out under local anesthesia. While the extraction and implantation are taking place, you won’t feel any pain other than some discomfort and pressure.

Once the anesthetic wears off, you may experience some discomfort. But you can alleviate those symptoms with pain medications. For a period, your scalp will be painful and inflamed.

Some patients worry about the anesthetic needles before the procedure begins. As a result, you may be asking whether a hair transplant procedure hurts. But, needle-free anesthetics, sedation, and/or numbing balm are all options.

Your doctor will administer these before the injection in order to numb the scalp. It’ll prevent any discomfort from the local anesthetic itself.

Types of Local Anesthesia

The patient’s age, weight, allergies, medical problems, and the location and purpose of the treatment all play a role in determining the kind and dosage of anesthetic needed.

Injections, sprays, and ointments may all be used by healthcare providers to alleviate pain. In order for the medicine to be effective, it must block particular neural pathways. It’s critical to prevent the brain from receiving signals from the location of the application.

It takes action in only a few minutes, then fades off within a few hours. For a longer period of time, a greater dosage is better. As a general rule, cocaine is no longer used as a general anesthetic.

It is the most often used local anesthetic, although it is not the only one used by physicians and anesthetists.

Bupivacaine is better suited for lengthier treatments, although it is more painful to administer than other medicines. If numbness is needed for a longer length of time, an anesthesiologist may start with lidocaine and subsequently switch to bupivacaine.

Drugs that mimic the structure of cocaine but lack the potential for abuse are called “synthetic anesthetics.”

The Inner Workings and Effects of Local Anesthesia

Anesthetics are injected into a particular portion of the body in the context of local anesthesia in order to make the patient virtually pain-free during surgery. In contrast to general anesthesia, a patient is not rendered unconscious during a procedure using local anesthetic.

By preventing the transfer of pain signals from the nerves to the brain, it has an effect.

As a result, if you don’t get an anesthetic, the procedure will be very painful for you. A painless sensation isn’t felt since nerves don’t communicate this information back to our brains. For the time being, there will be no feeling in that region at all. In hair transplant surgery, the harvesting of grafts might cause some discomfort.

How It Works With Hair Transplants

Your doctor will inject the anesthetic beneath the skin at the beginning of the process to numb the region.
You can expect a stinging or burning sensation. This is not a problem because of the tiny needles used. That makes them a non-issue. The drug really causes the burning feeling on the skin.

The medication takes effect after 5-6 minutes, causing a numbing sensation in your head.

Each person’s tolerance for pain differs. You should notify the surgeon quickly if you begin to feel discomfort throughout the procedure. Our surgeon can increase the anesthetics depending on your case and their recommendation.  

Using Local Anesthetic Twice Throughout the Procedure

Local anesthesia lasts around 15-20 minutes throughout the 6-8-hour hair transplant operation.

As a result of the initial injection of a local anesthetic, there is no longer any soreness in the donor area. It is necessary to deliver local anesthetic to the location of the transplant prior to opening the canals.

If there is any pain in the region where hair transplantation is after the local anesthesia, please contact your doctor. Your skin will go numb once again with the use of an anesthetic injected directly into the affected area.

The use of local anesthesia to numb the operation area during a hair transplant is a relatively painless method.

Expectations and Recovery From Anesthesia Medications

Immediately after the procedure, your scalp may be quite sensitive. It’s possible that you’ll be on pain medication for a few days. You’ll have bandages on your scalp for at least a few days by your doctor.

Your doctor will also give you a prescription for an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory medication. Within two to five days of surgery, the majority of patients are able to return to their previous jobs.

In the first two to three weeks after hair transplant surgery, the transplanted hair will fall out, but new growth should begin within a few months. After six to nine months, most individuals should expect to see 60% of their new hair growth.

Hair-growing medicine minoxidil (Rogaine) is prescribed by certain surgeons to enhance hair growth after transplantation, however, studies haven’t been able to confirm its efficacy. 

You can explore our tips on growing your hair faster after your procedure and more in our articles section. 

How Local Anesthesia Is Administered: The Hair Transplant Edition

Inquiries about whether hair transplants cause pain are common. Almost all surgeries are accompanied by a sense of dread about the potential for discomfort. Despite the fact that the process is nearly painless, you may suffer some discomfort.

We hope that our guide on the nuances of local anesthesia when it comes to hair transplant procedures has given you some idea about how it all works. Next step, you’ll want to get your free consultation and learn about the right kind of hair transplant for you.


About Gürkan Çoruh

Gürkan is Estenbul Digital Marketing Manager and Content writer who has taken roles in medical tourism for years and created written materials for healthcare provider’s websites. Gürkan Çoruh was born on May 10, 1989, and pursued his higher education in Travel Management at the Muğla University. After graduating in 2011, he had the opportunity to work in many units of tourism. He started to work in the medical health tourism sector in 2016. Since then, he has been working on medical tourism and has written informative health articles. He has been mainly focusing on hair transplant surgeries, and through his work, Gürkan has been able to create effective content in English. He has been working with Estenbul Health in this sector for 7 years.