Post-Op Instructions

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Carolina Hair Surgery- FUE Post-Op Instructions

(Please read all the way through)

The Day of the Procedure

Begin spraying the grafted area with the included saline spray on the hour all the way to bedtime. But once you go to sleep tonight you do not need to wake up on the hour to spray.

Sleeping the night after the procedure should be in an upright, 45-degree angle. (Similar to the position you were in while the grafts where being placed).  Using a travel pillow to keep your head upright is very helpful. (If you do not have a travel pillow you can make one by taking a towel and rolling it up)

The best way to manage pain in the donor area is to begin taking ibuprofen 600 mg (3 tablets of 200 mg each), every 6 hours. This will minimize the need for the prescription Hydrocodone.  Then use the Hydrocodone only when the pain becomes severe (Usually before going to bed). Try not to use more than 2-3 doses of the Hydrocodone each day. In South Carolina, if an opioid pain medication prescription is also prescribed with a sedative (like Valium or diazepam), then a prescription for Narcan (for drug overdose) must also be prescribed. The prescriptions will be waiting for you at the following locations:

Charleston Office

CVS Pharmacy
640 Long Point Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

The video on this page will take you through the first night post op instructions.

Charlotte Office

Publix Pharmacy
928 Gold Hill Road
Fort Mill, SC 29708

The Day After the Procedure

Continue to spray the grafted area with the saline spray on the hour up to bedtime. Once you go to sleep tonight you no longer need to use the saline spray. Continue taking the ibuprofen every 6 hours on this day, and the Hydrocodone as needed. Continue to sleep in the upright position tonight, but after tonight you can go back to sleeping in your normal position.

The Second Day After the Procedure

This is your wash day.  Which means I do not want you to wash the grafted area before the second day (It is okay to shower your body whenever you like).  To wash the grafted area, turn the shower on, but do not put your head under the shower. Take a small cup (like a coffee cup) and put a small amount of the Head and Shoulders shampoo in the cup, and put the cup under the shower and let the water and shampoo mix so you have a 50/50 water/shampoo mixture. Then pour this mixture over the grafts. Then take out the surgical sponge, and wet the sponge side (do not use the side with bristles).  Then gently dab the wet sponge on the grafts in a up and down motion. (do not rub or go side to side with the sponge).  Once the area begins to lather, rinse out the water/shampoo mixture from the cup, fill the cup up with water, and rinse off the lather with the water from the cup.  Do not use a towel to dry the grafted area, just let it air dry.

The First Week after the Procedure

Continue to sponge wash the grafts once per day for one week after the procedure. During this week do not lift heavy weights, and do not go swimming or immerse the scalp under water. Other activity is fine. After the one week period is over, you can go back to washing the grafted area normally, using whatever shampoo you normally use. For itching and continued soreness in the donor area, it is often helpful to apply Aloe Vera gel to the donor area. Do not apply Aloe Vera gel on the grafts.

A Couple of Little Things

Be very careful getting in and out of your car for the first few days after surgery, as your head is numb and you lose the sense of where it is in space.

Hairline and eyebrow cases are at high risk for forehead swelling. Not everyone gets swelling, but it usually occurs a day or two after the procedure. If swelling occurs it can often drop down around the eyes, and occasionally it can cause severe swelling around the eyes. If you have swelling it does not harm the grafts, and usually begins going down after the day or two. The only way to treat the swelling is to place an ice pack on the forehead (but not on the grafts).

Wearing Hats

Most patients want to wear a hat after the surgery. Ball caps and other hats are generally safe to use after the first two days post-op, but you need to be careful that the brim or other areas of the hat are not rubbing on the grafts.  Do not use a fitted cap as your head is a size or two larger after the procedure from the anesthesia. Use an adjustable cap on its largest setting. Do not wear a ski cap or other hat that contacts the grafts.


As you may know, we are undergoing an opioid epidemic.  The use of Hydrocodone, which is an opioid, is beneficial for decreasing the donor pain after the procedure. However, you should be aware that using Hydrocodone does expose you (and for some patients for the first time), to the potential for opiate abuse. Only take the Hydrocodone for pain, if you find that you are taking the Hydrocodone for any other reason besides pain, then please realize that you are placing yourself in danger of opiate abuse. If this is the case, stop taking the Hydrocodone and give the medication to a someone you trust to discard it.  While we want patients to effectively manage donor pain, we also do not want to be contributing to the national problem of opiate abuse.

Two Week Follow Up

We want to see you in two weeks for follow up. Make sure you contact our office (all of our contact information is on the business card in the post-op packet) for your two week follow up.