I am an African American female and I just underwent the hairline implant surgery as well as eye brow implantation this past Friday April 6. It was beyond painful.
First i'll start by saying that I have had other "work" done in the past I.e. breast implants, lipo so I went into this fully understanding that with every procedure there is a price to pay and its usually physical. Having said that, nothing can prepare you for this one. I was given both ambien and Xanax to loosen me up for the start of the numbing process and it is exactly that, a process. They slowly slide a needle horizontally thru your scalp squirting anesthetic fluid every few seconds from one side of the back of your head (otherwise known as the donor site) all the way across ending at the other side. That is just as painful as it sounds. Then they repeat the same thing only to the front of your hairline all the way across as this is where the doc cuts little holes into your face for the implanted hair to live. Ouch!! Repeat this procedure in my eyebrows because I want caterpillar on my face as well. At this point I was barely hanging on.
Once I was fully numb the doc came and removed quite a bit of my scalp back there and the 7 hour procedure was full underway. The staff was sweet, pleasant, patient. Always asking if I was okay, or needed anything. I was actually in and out of sleep for a large part of the surgery as the meds kicked in. A couple times during the implants one area would lose its numbness and the pain would be so strong they would numb me right back up. After it was over I went home expecting to sleep. The first night was pure agony. All the anestetia wore off and everything hurt like hell. I did not sleep at all. Per doc's order I was supposed to sleep sitting up the first night to prevent excessive swelling in the face. Sleep wasn't an option, the donor site throbbed like crazy, but not headache type throb, knife in your scalp type throb. I took the Tylenol 3 they gave me and it eased some of the pain but not enough to allow me to rest.
The next day the pain was cut in half by about 50%. I returned to the doc to have my hair shampooed (there is plenty of blood in your hair from the surgery). I found it to be soothing and very helpful with my scalp. I returned home and did nothing for the next 3 days. At this point, my eyes are swollen almost completely shut. The fluids injected to numb your hairline move down into your face and eventually end up in your eyes causing this puffy look as if u ate shellfish and had an allergic reaction to it. Not pretty. The doc gave me diuretic pills to help get rid of fluids but I think I may just have to tuff this thing out. I don't have any feelings in the top and front areas of my scalp, it's weird. The back is a little sore but nothing intolerable.
The new hair in the front looks like a five o'clock shadow type beard in the front of my forehead. It's laughable but I can see that when my hair does grow in naturally my face is going to have a nice soft look. No more big forehead! I'm excited and will keep you posted. Also I have nice thick eyebrows! The hairs will fall out but I have a nice preview of what to expect and I like them. Before I would pencil them in and god forbid I slept over my significant other's house that night, I'd wake up with my eyebrows imprinted on his clean pillowcase and nothing on my face. Humiliating. Soo in spite of everything, I'm giving this a "worth it" rating because hair is so important to framing the face and once I get thru the rough patches hopefully it will be worth it!