Is NeoGraft painful?

Can you set an expectation on the level that might be experienced on a scale of 1-10 when a hair transplant procedure is performed using the NeoGraft?

Doctor Answers 14

Is the NeoGraft hair transplant procedure painful?

The NeoGraft is simply a tool that a physician, or more likely a technician, uses to perform a technique of hair restoration called Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE.  Regardless of whether FUE procedure is done with the NeoGraft device, the ARTAS robotic hair restoration system, or with a manual biopsy punch, the scalp is anesthetized the same way.  Once the anesthetic has been injected, there is zero pain felt.

The scalp is anesthetized with an injectable medication such as lidocaine, no matter which method of hair restoration is being performed. The lidocaine is painful when injected, but largely depends on the rate of injection.  It causes a brief chemical reaction, which in turn causes pain, then nearly immediately causes the area to go numb.  But the rate of injection is critical; if one injects the anesthetic twice as fast, it's not twice as painful, it's more like 10 or 20 times as painful.  If other methods are used concurrently with the initial injection of the anesthesia, such as a specialized vibrator to distract the nerves (look up "gate control theory of pain"), it is virtually painless.

It is the experience and care of the physician injecting that will determine how painful the procedure is. If the numbing medication is injected quickly, it can be 9 or 10 on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (maximum pain).  With proper care, expertise, technique, and patience on the physician's part, the pain of the injection is typically 1-2 on a scale of 10.  For the duration of the procedure, there is zero pain.

After the procedure, there is no pain where the follicles were placed (eg: the recipient area) and in the donor area patients sometimes report a slight pain, somewhat like a sunburn, that can easily be controlled with Motrin or Tylenol. 

Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Pain during FUE with Neograft

If the anesthesia is done correctly, there is no more than 60 seconds of pain similar to getting stitches. All my patients tolerate this very well.

Amir Yazdan, MD
Irvine Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Absolutely Pain Free!


You may feel a couple of pinches from the numbing medicine.  That's all.  Most patients end up taking naps, reading, watching a movie or two, etc.  

Most patients will arrange a ride home so that they can take a light sedative (really just to help them handle the boredom of just hanging out for 5 hours or so) and maybe a small pain pill.

The physician (or one of her/his appointees) will administer some numbing medicine and after that, zero discomfort!

And you'll love the results!

George Ibrahim, MD
Asheville Physician

Is Neograft Painful

Hi and thank you for your question!

Our patients tolerate the procedure very well. We give the option of Percocet and/or valium if they are not driving home. The numbing procedure is the really the only part that is felt and is maybe 10-15 minutes total of the treatment, depending on how many areas are being done.


Dr. Grant Stevens

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Pain from NeoGraft

The painful part of the procedure is limited to about 8 minutes for injections.  Once the lidocaine and/or  marcaine takes effect, the procedure is totally painless.  With percocet or valium on board, the procedure can surprisingly be even enjoyable to some.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Pain Rating During NeoGraft = 2 for anesthesia injections; 0 during the procedure.

The scalp is treated with anesthesia so that there is virtually no pain during the procedure. The point at which the patient may experience pain is during the injection of anesthesia into the scalp. As long as the anesthesia is injected at a controlled and appropriate rate, then the pain experience is rather mild.

You could compare this pain to that you may experience before anesthesia injection before getting stitches. It only lasts less than one minute and then the area is numb. The scalp is numb during the procedure. After the procedure, there may be some soreness from the donor sites for a few days, like that of a sunburn.

Overall, I would rate the pain level from 0-10 (0= no pain, 10= worst pain imaginable) as a 2 for anesthesia injections and short lasting discomfort after the procedure. During the procedure the pain rating is 0.

Julio F. Gallo, MD
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

NeoGraft Procedure

The NeoGraft Follicular Unit Extraction is the least invasive procedure for hair transplantation, designed to limit the patient's discomfort. The procedure is performed with local anesthesia to numb the area and no intravenous or intra-muscular sedation is required. I suggest you consult a board certified hair specialist physician to ensure that you receive the highest-quality knowledge, skill, care and treatment available. Typically, the more skilled and experienced your physician, the better result you can expect.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 reviews


Neograft is a machine that assists physicians in performing FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedures.  FUE procedures stand in contrast to "strip" procedures where a portion of scalp is surgically removed from the occiput (back) of the head and where a linear scar results.

As such, FUE/Neograft procedures are not particularly painful postoperatively in comparison.  After performing many hundreds of these procedures, patients generally report a "sunburn" type feeling for a few days that can be managed with over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol.  

Obviously, the patient is anesthetized prior to the start of the procedure to a point of total anesthesia/numbness.

Best of luck!!

Jeffrey B. Wise, MD, FACS
Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Neograft is just a tool

Neograft is just a tool that a doctor use to perform Follicular Unit Extraction.  Using a Neograft does not mean the pain will be any better or worse.  

FUE surgery in general is carried out under local anesthesia so it should be painless during the surgery.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Minor discomfort

Most of our patients experience minimal pain after having Neograft.  The feedback we have received from patients is the pain is similar to that of a sunburn, and most can get away with just taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen if needed.

David L. Robbins, MD, FACS
West Des Moines Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.