Is Alcohol Safe to Drink After a Hair Transplant?
We get asked a lot of questions regarding hair transplant procedures, and what you can and can’t do after receiving one. As with most surgical procedures, people are looking forward to when they can get back to living a normal life, so questions regarding the recovery period come up often.
Typically these questions revolving around things like when you can start using hair products again or how to sleep after a hair transplant procedure. And while those questions are more concerned with everyday life and maintenance of your hair and body, we often get asked about things that might affect your lifestyle.
One of the main questions we get regarding people’s lifestyles is whether they can drink alcohol after undergoing a hair transplant procedure.
This is a great question to talk to your doctor about before undergoing your surgery, but it’s important to look at the benefits of refraining from alcohol before your surgery as well.
Consuming Alcohol Before a Hair Transplant Procedure
In the week leading up to your hair transplant surgery, your doctor will advise you on how to properly prepare to help reduce the risk of complications. One of the things your doctor will advise you of is to refrain from drinking alcohol for at least a week before the surgery.
Cutting alcohol from your diet before your surgery will help with the overall healing process and help to reduce any complications that could arise during the surgery.
Alcohol can cause a lot of different things to happen to your body. Dehydration and low blood pressure can lead to an increase in swelling and inflammation and even an increase in your pain levels during and after the surgery. Alcohol also thins out the blood which can cause more bleeding during the procedure itself. Similar to aspirin, ibuprofen or fish oil, Alcohol counteracts the platelets which decreases their ability to clot your blood. So when you drink alcohol, you may bruise more easily and during surgery it takes longer to stop bleeding.
Anything you can do to help promote a smooth surgery is in your best interest. Abstaining from alcohol for at least a week prior to the procedure will allow your body ample time to flush out any alcohol that may still be in your system, rehydrate your body, and give your platelets time to recover.
Can I Drink Alcohol After Hair Transplant Surgery?
We know that alcohol consumption prior to your procedure should be avoided, but what about during your recovery period?
Your doctor will have specific instructions regarding your post-op recovery, but in general it is suggested that you refrain from drinking alcohol for at least a week after your hair transplant surgery.
Drinking during the recovery period could lead to complications that could result in longer healing times, unnecessary scabbing, and even the grafts failing.
As we mentioned before, alcohol thins your blood and can cause your blood pressure to be lower. Because of this, you may bleed more during and after the surgery. If your scalp bleeds more after the surgery is completed, this can lead to scabs in your scalp which can hinder the healing process and sometimes lead to the hair follicle transplants failing in some areas.
Alcohol consumption can also lead to more swelling in the areas where the transplant was performed. More swelling can lead to more pain and but also just more unsightly which means hiding out for a longer recovery period. The last thing you want to do is to drag out the recovery period any longer than it must be. We know that you’re excited to get out there and show the world your new look but drinking alcohol could keep you at home for a bit longer than you’d like.
Alcohol can cause your body to become dehydrated because alcohol acts as a diuretic. This means it stimulates your kidneys to excrete more water from the body than it normally would. Because of this, if you become too dehydrated, your new hair grafts will become very brittle, and it can cause them to fail. This is why it’s extremely important to stay hydrated after your surgery.
It should go without saying but consuming enough alcohol that you are inebriated after surgery is a bad idea. You probably will be taking some pain medication after a hair transplant which should not be combined with alcohol. Not to mention if you are drunk, you could fall down and hit your head, and that would really do damage to those precious new grafts.
Drinking alcohol can lead to many different complications before and after your hair transplant, so it’s important to listen to your doctor and refrain from drinking in the time surrounding your procedure.
Not everyone is the same when it comes to recovery, but your doctor will be able to talk to you about what the best route to take is when it comes to alcohol. It’s not worth risking the entire procedure just to have a few drinks while recovering. Do yourself a favor and take these recommendations seriously and you’ll be back to your normal social life in no time.
If you have any questions regarding hair transplants, or would like to setup a consultation with our doctor, please contact us at the Limmer Hair Transplant Center in San Antonio, TX today!