I would like to get a hair transplant and I was under the impression that anesthesia would not be involved in this process. However, I recently uncovered conflicting information and could you please clarify this?
There are typically two forms of anesthesia under which most cosmetic surgeries are performed. Those are local anesthesia and IV sedation. IV sedation is rarely used for hair transplant cases although a patient can elect to have this type of sedation if they prefer it for an additional fee. Under IV sedation, a patient is put completely to sleep through an IV in the patient's arm. They sleep entirely through the procedure, remembering nothing. This is not necessary for a hair transplant procedure but is an option.
Most hair transplant procedures are performed under local anesthesia which is very similar to what one would experience in a dentist's office. The patient is awake, however we do use light sedatives like an Ambien or Valium to help the patient to relax and rest through the procedure. We also use local anesthesia which is injected into the patient's scalp where the transplant is taking place but there is no pain felt by the patient. This procedure allows the patient to both rest and relax comfortably without taking any risk of being under full IV sedation, and this is the type of anesthesia that most patients elect to receive.
Posted by Jon Hoffenberg, Executive Vice President FHRPS