Anesthesia - Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration
About Header Image

Q: Can shock loss be eliminated by using special surgical techniques? — R.P., Short Hills, NJ

A: Although there have been no scientific studies proving this, shock hair loss can most likely be minimized by keeping the recipient sites parallel to the hair follicles, by not creating a transplanted density too great in areas of existing hair, and by using minimal epinephrine (adrenaline) in the anesthetic. We implement all of these techniques. Finasteride may also decrease shock hair loss, or at least help any (miniaturized) hair that is lost to re-grow. That said, some shock hair loss from a hair transplant is unavoidable regardless of the technique as it is a normal physiologic response to stress.

Posted by

Q: I am about 3 months post-op after my hair restoration procedure. I have noticed some hair shedding in the frontal part of my scalp. I have continued both Propecia and Minoxidil. Is there anything I can do and should I be concerned? — M.B., Chicago, IL

A: Shedding of some of the patient’s existing hair in, and around, the area of a hair transplant is a relatively common occurrence after a hair transplant and should not be a cause of concern. The mechanism appears to be a normal response of the body to the stress of the hair restoration surgery -– i.e., site creation, adrenaline in the anesthetic etc. Some doctors claim that their hair transplant techniques are so “impeccable” that their patients do not experience shedding. This is a false claim. Although using very small recipient sites and limiting the use of epinephrine may mitigate shedding somewhat, shedding is a normal part of the hair transplant process and the risk is unavoidable.

It appears that a person’s normal, non-miniaturized hair, as well as transplanted hair, is somewhat less subject to shedding than hair that is actively miniaturizing (thinning from the effects of DHT). In addition, if transplanted hair or non-miniaturized hair is shed, it will grow back. If miniaturized hair is lost, however, it may or may not return.

Since both finasteride and minoxidil reverse the miniaturization process, they should decrease the amount of hair at risk from shedding after hair transplant surgery. This has been our clinical experience, but it is important to note that as yet there have been no scientific studies to support this view.

At this time there is not much you can do except to be patient and wait for the newly transplanted hair to grow in and for the shed hair to return. Of course, make sure you continue to take finasteride and/or minoxidil if the doctor has prescribed it for you.

Read more on the topic of Shedding After a Hair Transplant.

Posted by

Q: I have read that a lot of doctors today administer Midazolam (Versed) to sedate the patient. I have two questions in reference to this drug: 1) How does the doctor determine how much of a dose to administer to the patient and 2) is the drug administered all at once, or intermittently throughout the procedure? — D.D., Bronxville, NY

A: Each doctor has a different protocol, so it is hard to generalize. At Bernstein Medical we usually use Versed 2 to 4 mg IM one time 10 minutes prior to giving the local anesthesia. The dose is not repeated.

We also use Valium 5-15mg by mouth. I determine the dose of each based on body weight and history of sensitivity to sedatives.

Read more about the Hair Transplant Procedure.

Posted by

Q: Dr. Bernstein, is a follicular unit hair transplant, the way you perform it, very painful? — M.C., Laguna Niguel, C.A.

A: We perform our hair transplant procedures using long-acting, local anesthesia, so after the initial injections, the patient doesn’t experience any pain or discomfort.

The local anesthesia (a combination of Lidocaine and Marcaine) lasts about 4-5 hours. For long sessions, we give additional anesthesia before the first wears off.

Before we start the local anesthesia, we give most patients IM Versed (also known as midazolam). This medication is a very fast acting sedative that is very relaxing. Some patients even doze off at the beginning of the procedure. This is very different, however from the deep sleep produced by general anesthesia.

Posted by

Q: I have read about something called “tumescent anesthesia” but didn’t understand what it is. What exactly is it? — S.S., Hoboken, N.J.

A: Tumescent techniques were first popularized in liposuction surgery where large quantities of fluid containing adrenalin were injected into the person’s fat layer to decrease bleeding before the fat was literally sucked out of the body. Bleeding was minimized because the epinephrine (adrenaline) constricted blood vessels and the fluid compressed the blood flow in the smallest blood vessels called capillaries.

The technique allowed small liposuction procedures to be performed safely as an out-patient procedure. In surgical hair restoration, low concentrations of anesthetic fluid and adrenaline are injected into the fat layer in the back of the scalp.

In a hair transplant, besides decreasing the bleeding, the fluid makes the skin more rigid so that the incision can be more easily made without cutting hair follicles. It also helps the doctor avoid damage to the deeper blood vessels and nerves in the scalp.

Posted by

Q: Will I be unconscious during the hair transplant procedure and do you use general anesthesia? – C.L., Boston, Massachusetts

A: All of the surgical hair restoration procedures at Bernstein Medical are performed under local anesthesia. The fact that general anesthesia is not needed is what makes hair transplant procedures – even though they are long – very safe.

Patients are given a sedative to help them relax, but they are not put to sleep. Most patients watch TV, see movies or just chat during the procedure.

Posted by

Dr. Bernstein — and a Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration hair transplant patient — were featured on NBC television’s “Today” program with Matt Lauer. The segment, which mostly covered hair transplant repair procedures and hair restoration, was one of a three-part series on hair loss.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Read below for a portion of the transcript:

What men will do for a few more strands of hair

Recent changes in transplant surgery have led to more natural-looking results and a boost of self confidence for some balding men

Hair transplants are one of the top five cosmetic procedures for men in the U.S., with more than 19,000 performed last year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. But is it worth it? As part of a three-part series on hair loss, “Today” spoke with two men who underwent the procedure.

Allen Appleblatt has made a big change in his life. He works out, spends time with family and stays busy with work. And when it comes to his appearance, he’s feeling good about his new head of hair.

“I kind of felt like I was an idiot looking at myself in the mirror,” said Appleblatt. “Whenever I took a shower, at the end of the shower I found a clump of hair at the bottom of the drain. And there was no way of stopping it.”

So Appleblatt had two hair transplants. His partner, Shirley Garofano, likes what she sees.

“I liked him both ways. But I like him better now. He looks great, he’s very positive, he’s happier,” she said.

Happier, but he still wants thicker hair. “Today” followed him while he underwent his third hair transplant, taking advantage of the latest techniques.

“Over the past 10 years we’ve developed a new procedure called follicular unit transplantation, where hair is transplanted exactly the way it grows,” said Dr. Robert Bernstein, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at New York’s Columbia University.

This new technique replaces the plugs — groups of hairs inserted into round holes in the scalp — used in the early days of hair transplant procedures. It is now known that hair grows in groups of one to four hairs.

“So follicular unit transplantation is a transplantation of hair in its naturally occurring groups,” said Bernstein. “We’re really just transplanting the root.”

Appleblatt is given valium and local anesthesia, and then a donor strip is removed from the back of the head where hair is not genetically programmed to fall out.

“We have a team of people dissecting the grafts. They divide it into individual follicular units,” said Bernstein.

The units are then transplanted into the balding area. And 10 to 12 months later, the new hair will be in place.

Posted by



Browse Hair Restoration Answers by topic:








212-826-2400
Scroll to Top