Follicular Unit Excision FUE
Most of the information relating to the Strip technique FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) also applies to FUE (Follicular Unit Excision) method of hair transplantation.
The major difference between the two techniques is in the way follicles are harvested from the donor hair.
In FUE, the follicular unit to be removed is selected by the surgeon- Dr. Saifi, 0.7- 0.9 mm mechanical punches. The punch is then placed over the follicular unit and a small circular incision is made approximately half way down the unit’s hair shafts. Next, the unit is grasped and excised from the surrounding skin.
Although a linear scar is not produced with FUE, instead, there will be small (0.5mm) dot scars (Hyperpigmentation) all over the donor area. While these dots are eventually barely noticeable, it is a common mistake to say that FUE is completely scar less, as often advertised. Scars are created and evidenced by virtue of the fact that hypopigmented or hyperpigmented “dots” may be visible when the hair is cut very short. These “dots” may be a scar reaction or actual post inflammatory pigment changes, particularly in darker skinned individuals.
FUE is more time consuming than Strip FUT, as it relies on distributing the exs over a large area of the scalp.
FUE is ideal for those patients who favour very short hairstyles, or the type of hair where you can see through to the scalp. Could FUE be for you?
FUE is a harvesting technique whereby the individual grafts are punched or ‘drilled’ out from a shaved area of the donor scalp. Although scars are still produced, they usually heal as small dots scattered over a large area. This makes it extremely difficult to notice, even with a short hair cut. It is ideal where the patient prefers a shorter hairstyle, such as a No.1 or No.2 cut. Nevertheless, we recommend discussing this with us in detail during your consultation and following a thorough examination.
- Currently, we are able to safely transfer up to 2,500 follicular unit grafts in a single session (please keep in mind that we are using the word graft not hair, and each graft contains between one and three hairs) This will usually take most of the day.
- If the treatment involves a significant number of grafts, the entire back and sides of the scalp will be shaved on the day of surgery.
- You will be given a mild sedative and local anaesthesia in both the donor and recipient areas.
- There might be some mild discomfort when giving the first one or two local anaesthetic injections. Further injections should not be felt as we have devised our unique way of injecting and overlapping the anaesthesia, using ultra fine needles and injectors. The rest of the procedure should not put you in any discomfort.
- Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, the procedure begins with the mechanically excising single follicular units using 0.7mm – 0.9 mm punches and a variety of other equipment.
- The end result of this step is multiple small dots on the back and sides, rather than the linear scar of the strip FUT.
- The entire procedure is very clean and, when complete, no bandages or dressings are usually requires.
- The transection rate at our practice is usually less than 2% of all attempts.
- FUE grafts -by nature- can also be more vulnerable due to the fact that there tends to be less protective tissue around each excised graft, but at our practice we make sure that these grafts are hydrated and well handled. The procedure entails extra care in the initial post-operative period to ensure maximal graft survival.
- Within half an hour of completion, you can be on your way home . We strongly advise you not to drive if possible. We can happily arrange transportation to and from the clinic if needed.
- Multiple breaks are given throughout the day. Lunch, snacks and refreshments are provided, as well as a choice of entertainment material to make the time spent more enjoyable.
Anyway, at my clinic we perform both techniques FUT and FUE equally well, so when the patient is a good candidate for either technique, I usually leave it to the patient to decide, usually it will depend on the patient’s budget and whether they favour very short hairstyles. Those Who Benefit from FUE:
Patients experiencing the following conditions are excellent candidates for FUE:
- Male Pattern Baldness
- Female Pattern Baldness
- Scars from Cosmetic Surgery
- Missing or Thinning Eyebrows
- Previous Hair Transplants
- High Hairlines
- Repair of old plugs