Nutrition for Hair Transplant Surgery Recovery
Nutrition for Hair Transplant Surgery Recovery
Keeping up your dietary health pre- and post- Hair Transplant Surgery is vital for good skin and wound healing. Any type of surgery is a traumatic insult to your body. Your body needs to work harder to recuperate from even minor surgery.
Good nutrition gives your body the weapons to boost your immune system, replenish your blood and heal faster with the least discomfort.
So what can you do to prepare for your Hair Transplant Surgery and optimise your recovery?
Before Your Hair Transplant Surgery
At Newin Institute we recommend that TWO WEEKS before your hair transplant surgery, you:
- STOP SMOKING
- DO NOT TAKE Aspirin or Aspirin-like drugs (e.g. Disprin or Astix). It is best to avoid all types of cold and flu preparations. However, straight Panadeine or Panadol are acceptable
- DO NOT TAKE anti-inflammatory medications such as Nurofen, Voltaren etc
- STOP TAKING ALL over the counter herbal preparations.
***IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS AND HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGERY: Many multi-vitamins on the current market contain herbal extracts, like ginseng, etc and may these extracts may have a vasodilatory effect. This means your blood vessels will dilate and increase your blood flow. This is not ideal during your hair transplant surgery because, if you bleed more, it becomes difficult for the surgeon to see and slows your procedure down during placement of the grafts.
- You can take Zinc tablets (25mg per day) and Vitamin C (1000mg per day only) – as long as they do not contain herbal extracts
- DO NOT TAKE Steroids (including corticosteroids) or recreational drugs
- DO NOT TAKE medication like Viagra due to its vasodilatory effects
24 hours prior to your hair transplant surgery you should also STOP eating or drinking caffeine products like coffee, tea and chocolate as caffeine is also a vasodilator.
After Hair Transplant Surgery
Nutrition is still extremely important even when you are facing minor (minimally invasive) surgery like Hair Transplantation, including:
It is important to keep well-hydrated both before, during and after surgery to maintain your body’s hydration. Dehydration can make you feel uncomfortable, nauseous, give you a headache, make you constipate, or decrease your blood volume and blood pressure, which can make you light-headed when you stand. By keeping your fluids up, you will experience less discomfort during and after hair transplant surgery.
Six-eight glasses of water is the recommended daily amount of water. It also helps fibre to work better.
Eating a light meal on the morning of your surgery will help reduce nausea due to medications taken during your hair transplant surgery. However, if you do experience any nausea we can give you anti-nausea medication during and after surgery to make you feel more comfortable.
Proteins are the basic building blocks of collagen and elastin which are the basic structure of skin. So they are essential for quality wound-healing and also for enzymatic processes during metabolism.
During surgery you are able to get up and move around. However, some of the pain medication given to you during surgery may make your bowel movements slow down. To prevent constipation, ensure you have enough fibre in your diet. Good sources include prunes, prune juice, vegetables, legumes, beans, whole-grains, cereals. You may also consider psyllium or Metamucil.
Vitamin C speeds healing. After surgery, blood levels of Vitamin C can drop rapidly. It is essential for the body to produce wound-healing collagen and elastin (the basic structure of many tissues, including skin, bone and blood vessels).
Zinc is extremely important in tissue repair. It is necessary for the production of collagen – the connective tissue that allows scars to form. Zinc also interacts with Vitamin A to make it available for use in the body and even plays a vital role in immune function.
Vitamin A has been called the skin vitamin for good reason. It is necessary for cell growth, so that new and immature cells mature into their final for. It activates the production of connective tissue, including collagen formation, and promotes the growth of new blood vessels – important for nourishing newly forming tissues.
Found in bananas, avocados, brewer’s yeast (vegemite), brown rice, nuts and eggs.
Vitamin B6 ensures optimal fat and protein metabolism within your body and so is as important to your body as water and oxygen. It is also important in assisting clotting during the wound-healing process.
Copper is a trace mineral so our body only need small amounts. It is important for its function in the cross-linkage of collagen and elastin during wound healing. It promotes the formation of strong, flexible connective tissue. An important consideration if you are having FUG (Donor Strip) Surgery. Copper is also important for making haemoglobin in your blood.
You may also want to consider taking a copper supplement if you are increasing your intake of Zinc for wound-healing purposes. This is because zinc supplements can interfere with copper absorption.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and boosts your immune system by neutralising free radicals in your body. Vitamin E oil can also be used on your surgical scar (after FUG Hair Transplant Surgery) once your wound has healed to soften and improve the tissue quality.
Your body needs iron as well as copper to make haemoglobin – the iron-based protein in red blood cells that allows them to pick up oxygen in the lungs and release it in the tissues where oxygen is low.
Vitamin B12 is important for making DNA during cell production. Importantly, it assists red blood cells to reach maturity, so they can function to deliver essential oxygen to your body’s tissues – especially in wound repair.
If you are unsure about any supplements or prescription medication you are taking, we recommend you please contact our clinic as soon as possible prior to hair transplant surgery, so we can advise you appropriately.
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