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intense pain in donor following FUE

  • Thread starter keeping-it-short
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keeping-it-short

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#1
I recently recovered from intense post-op pain in the donor region following FUE. It happened with both FUE procedures that I underwent with a very experienced, safety minded HT surgeon who is regarded highly by other physicians, especially when it comes to FUE. I am his only patient to report experiencing this but he plans on doing some research and a presentation on the subject. I think some people may have dermal properties that make them extra susceptible to neuropathic pain following FUE.



My experience was waves of intense sharp needle-like pain across the donor area starting around the fifth day post-op which would stop me in my tracks with chills. Imagine someone wrapping a blanket of needles around your head and then shaking it around. It was as if the sensory signals from the nerve endings disturbed during the procedure were unblocked 4-5 days later in a bad way causing nerve signal fireworks. It would fluctuate in intensity, from a slight itch feeling (touching would bring instant pain) to occasionally being severe pain lasting hours at a time. Cold compress didn €™t seem to help. Vicodin didn €™t help. Doctor prescribed doses of ibuprofen may have given some relief and I already had a prescribed non-addictive sleep aid trazadone which may have helped as well. The HT surgeon thought that perhaps a neural pain reliever such as Lyrica or Neurotin may help, but I was already improving by the time I contacted him so I decided no more meds. I €™m physically fit - light to moderate resistance training and stretching during periods of relief took my mind off the situation and kept my mood and energy up. I think nutrition can be important in recovery and I made sure to drink extra water and eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, seafood & nuts which are excellent sources of essential nutrients for the nervous system. I experienced waves of severe pain in the donor region lasting hours at a time days 5 through 11 post-op and then more of an itch feeling with the occasional sharp pain dissipating over the next few days (similar experiences with both FUE procedures).



From digging through forum archives on the web I have found just a handful of individuals reporting neuropathic pain following FUE, however one of them ended up in the hospital for 6 days and had residual pain for 4 months. Although unlikely, I have also heard that it is possible to have this type of pain last many years. I would advise anyone who is interested in FUE to first undergo a trial procedure to see how they respond (maybe something like 100-200 grafts). Maybe even monitor for donor scarring effect for 6mos if wanting to keep the sides cut shorter than quarter inch. If no problem, then go ahead with a larger session but I would still not recommend a procedure more than somewhere around 2000 FUE grafts at that point.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

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#2
Hi and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear that you have experienced this pain as Fue usually only produces minor pain and discomfort.However i remember my fue with pain and soreness lasted over a month.

Its good to hear the doctor is helping you out and trying to source why you are having this pain.Who is the doctor and do you have any surgery pictures to post.

Thanks bm.
 
S

Samuel Peeps

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#3
I had FUE surgery several years ago, whilst the end result was satisfactory I suffered from Neuropathic pain. I belive my Occipital nerves were traumatized due to overharvesting of grafts and the way the anaesthetic was administered.

After several weeks the pain subsided, then slowly vanished.
 
H

hairtech

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#4
Samuel peeps has a point. I have heard of the occipital nerves being compressed from swelling post op which causes significant post operative referred pain... however this was more after a strip.

Now I have seen/read a select few fue patients over the years that complained of post operative pain. One patient was prescribed a round of antibiotics because there may have been an underlying infection. But he cleared up.

The most severe case of post operative pain(i read about) I have seen included a sever shock loss... IN THE DONOR AREA... very rare...

Keep us updated in your progress. If you feel like you have a fever or the donor are is extra warm to the touch then call your physician.
 
Prohairclinic

Prohairclinic

Prohairclinic FUE and SMP
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#5
In Medicin if something can happen ... it will happen eventually.

Although severe pain for prolonged period of time is not expected after FUE, it can happen.

From our experience there is more discomfort as the size of the session increases.

It is rare to have complaints about pain after FUE. By this I mean pain to the level where one needs strong pain killers for up to 2-3 weeks after the treatment.

We do get remarks of discomfort like
- "I had a stinning sensation in the donor area, starting a few days after the treatment, lasting about 10 days"
- "My donor was itching like crazy for about 2 weeks"

What causes this discomfort? Honoustly I do not know what is the exact reason why some patients decribe a sting like feeling.

Here are some hypothes
Superficial nerve damage
phantom pain

I guess more imput is welcome.

BV
 
F

folliclediabolical

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#7
I had the same after FUE,nasty pain in the donor lasting about 2 weeks,after which it went completely.i found ibuprofin 400mg (pharmacy strength) helped a lot though.With the amount of injections going on with FUE its hardly surprising that some are experiencing this nerve pain.As said above,this should be considered when choosing FUE and the size of session your having.I dont think in any way it reflects on the clinic as anyone giving an injection is working blind.
 
H

hairtech

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#8
I have seen pain in FUE (lasting days and even weeks) in the donor area from time to time post op, however it is rare.

It seems to be individualized.
 
D

drmwamba

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#9
In my practice so far ,I didn't have such complaints .

Nerves anatomy vary from one person to the other .Nevertheless ,you must go very deep to hurt them to the point of creating such pain and disturbances .Depht control must be something to carefully pay attention with .



I do not think the size of the FUE session matters .This type of side effect is individual related and you can not generalize to everybody.

I have done many FUE sessions over 3000 grafts in one session with no pain in the donor .The only complain is tenderness in the donor when you touch it up to 2 days post op .Most of my patients get a pain killer just the first night after surgery ;after that they don't need it .

Maybe I am a lucky guy !!!!
 
Dr Arvind

Dr Arvind

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#11
drmwamba wrote:
.Nevertheless   ,you must go very deep to hurt them to the point of creating such pain and disturbances .
I agree with Dr. Patrick. It is not possible to perform fue and to create major nerve damage unless you dont know what you are doing.

There is an alternate possibility though.
When the grafts are extracted, the ensuing wound is filled with fibrin and scab in the days that follow.
The scab is hard and pressing on the wound. It is similar to pressing a hard pointed object against a wound. If it happens to be over an underlying nerve, it may/will cause pain. Even reffered pain.

One possible solution for hasty recuperation is to try to get rid of the scabs/fibrin clots in the donor area as early as possible.

This is usually possible when the patient rubs his donor area scrupulously clean (we normally advise this from the 2nd post op day).
In most cases, a scrupulous cleaning will dislodge all the scabs and relieve the donor area from major soreness and pain.
In patients in whom the scabs do not come off easily, its advisable to soak the donor area with warm saline solution for 60 seconds before trying to remove the scabs. The warm saline will loosen the scabs and they will come off easily.

(Please do not do this in the recipient area till 7 days post op.)

Regards,
Dr. A
 
H

hairtech

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#12
Extremely good points Dr. A.

And to add an odd point to the discussion... I have seen a rare case posted on Hairsite of a fellow that not only had a rare post operative FUE donor pain but also had a mass shedding of the donor area. I convinced him to come to the clinic that I was working for our physician to see him. He did this.

He reported that his FUE session was approximately an 16 to 18 our day. He reported that he was injected hundreds of time (presumably anesthesia/tumescence) all day long. The physician I worked for at the time made an assumption that the long day and the multiple injections along with the FUE trauma for the extended period of time probably forced a mass effluvium... a shedding if you will. Hopefully his hair returned. I tried to re-contact him to no avail.

My two cents. [):h::