Posted 30/10/2022 in Hair Transplant

Needle Free Anaesthesia in FUE Hair Transplantation

Needle Free Anaesthesia in FUE Hair Transplantation

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    Needle-free anesthesia, also referred to as painless anesthesia, in  FUE hair transplant is a method that aims to provide more comfort to the patient by reducing pain and anxiety as much as possible during a hair transplant operation.  

    All FUE hair transplant operations are performed under local anesthesia, therefore require the administration of an anesthetic directly into the scalp. 

    The classic injection involves piercing the skin with a needle to administer the drug. But, not everyone feels comfortable with the sight of needles and the thought of the pain of their sting.

    During the course of an FUE operation, the medical team injects local anesthesia twice. First, in the donor area - usually the back of the head - to numb the place from which hair follicles will be extracted. 

    Second, it is applied to the recipient sites (either on the scalp or the beard), where the hair follicles will be implanted. 

    How is Needle-Free Anaesthetic Different?

    In needleless local anesthesia, anesthetic agents are administered under the skin using a mechanical pressure device. 

    This device can be best described as a needle-free syringe. You can compare this type of syringe to a small compressed air gun.

    Needle-free anesthesia 

    It is placed on the skin and, once activated, vaporizes the anesthetic through the epidermis without causing local accumulations and without the patient experiencing any injection pain.

    Another painless method of hair transplantation is the application of local anesthesia under sedation. This method is applied if the pain resistance of the patient to be treated is very low. 

    Although many clinics perform it on all patients to provide a more pleasant experience. Before the operation, soothing medication is administered to the patient intravenously in order to relax them. Then, local anesthesia can be applied with or without a needle.

    The system has been known for many years and is absolutely safe.

    Needle Free Anaesthesia Is Not A Pain-Free Anaesthesia 

    While needle-free anesthesia is an excellent solution for people who have a phobia of needles (trypanophobia), it is not pain-free by any means. 

    In the process of applying normal anesthesia for an FUE hair transplant, the actual medication is what causes pain and not the needle injection itself (the needle injection causes mild pain, similar to anesthesia pain that you may experience at the dentist). 

    Therefore, when it comes to needle-free anesthesia, the patient may be spared the sting of a needle, but he will still feel the burning sensation of the medication once it has penetrated under the skin. 

    So, needle-free anesthesia is definitely not pain-free. Though, some people do prefer it, just to avoid the thought of a needle going into their scalp. 

    The Benefits Of Needle-Free Hair Transplant Techniques

    The process of applying local anesthesia during an FUE hair transplant usually lasts about 10-15 minutes. Most people find that pain bearable. 

    But for people who do not. Here are a few benefits of choosing needle free hair transplant are:

    • Painless: the perceived sensation will be of a slight pressure or pinch according to the individual sensitivity. But remember, as mentioned above, the burning sensation of the drug itself is unavoidable even with needle-free anesthesia. 
    • Reduced sedation time: the period of dispersion of the anesthetic is considerably shorter than with a traditional infusion with a needle, and this allows for reduced narcotization times and a decrease in the amount of drug required.
    • No fear: if the patient suffers from trypanophobia (fear of needles), the problem is solved at its root, and anesthesia can be dealt with without anxiety.
    • Fast: the whole process takes place very quickly and with precision (the anesthetic is infused in about 1/3 of a second) each time. Obviously, many hits are needed to numb the whole part of the scalp that will be the site of extraction or implantation.
    • Regulation: the system is tested and safe, in compliance with the community directive in the United States and the European Union. 

    How Does Needle-Free Anaesthesia Work?

    The methods used to administer anesthesia without needles allow a painless diffusion of the anesthetic under the scalp thanks to the high pressure of air.

    Indeed, a specialized device is placed directly on the area to be anesthetized. It takes the form of a pen as part of the application of the Comfort-In method. 

    This method is acclaimed for its simplicity, its efficiency, and certification it enjoys at the European level.

    This tool has a nozzle with a stable spring-loaded plunger. The anesthetic liquid, generally 0.5 ml, is contained in the lower orifice with a diameter of 0.15 mm. The practitioner then presses the trigger placed at the upper end.

    The device makes it possible to diffuse the anesthetic directly under the scalp under the action of the piston of the nozzle, which descends at high speed. The speed facilitates intradermal projection at high air pressure.

    The anesthetic product can thus pass through the dermal tissues without requiring the use of a needle. 

    However, after the initial numbness provided through the needle-free device, tumescent anesthesia is still performed using syringes. 

    A Note from ClinicAdvisor® Board of Plastic Surgery

    In medicine, the mental state of the patient is just as important as the physical one, if not more. So, while needle-free does not mean you will not feel any pain, and anyone who tells you that is misleading you, it can be the right choice for people who have anxiety from needles. 

    Practically speaking, there isn't much difference in the level of pain felt. This is because the entrance of anesthetic drugs into the body, regardless of how, will cause burning sensations. 

    We always find that patients who have been given some light sedatives through the veins have a much more tolerable experience. So, speak with your doctor about your concerns and expectations to decide on the best method for you.

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