Follicular Unit Extraction: The Technological Advancement That Changed Hair Transplants

 David Redman
  Aug 27, 2019

Until recently, hair transplants have relied on the extraction of a strip of skin from the back of the scalp. This would then be separated into follicular units, which were then transplanted back into the scalp. While this has offered improved hair growth at the recipient site, the long scar at the back or side of the scalp was less than ideal. Since then, technology has come on leaps and bounds and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), has become the common method of choice in clinics across the globe. Whether you’re wondering how much does a hair transplant cost? or you’re simply looking for an alternative to the more invasive method, here’s what you need to know about the process:

What Is FUE?

FUE is the process of using a tiny punch tool to remove follicular units one by one, rather than in a long strip. This method allows for more even dispersion of extraction across the donor area and more precise implantation at the recipient site, ultimately leading to less scarring, shorter downtime and better results overall.

Typically speaking, this procedure costs around the same as an FUT (strip harvesting) procedure, but this may differ from clinic to clinic. In most cases, it will be priced as the same, with either method chosen depending on the results you’re looking for or which may suit your scalp best.

The FUE Process is as follows:

  1. The hair in the donor area is trimmed or shaved in order to facilitate precise identification and extraction of the best hairs. In some cases, unshaven hair transplants are possible but this may not be available for all cases.
  2. Following preparation, small, circular incisions are made around the donor follicles, which are then extracted using an instrument similar to tweezers.
  3. The follicles are prepared for implantation, often grouped together depending on how many hairs are in each follicular unit.
  4. Then, dependant on the hair loss pattern, these hairs are implanted back into the scalp using tiny incisions of no more than a millimetre. They are placed one by one in order to create the most natural look possible.

Recovery from an FUE hair transplant is minimal. You can usually get back to your usual activity within a few hours, with the units healing completely within a few days. Hair growth will then begin around three months following the procedure, though it can take up to six months to notice significant regrowth.

FUE vs. FUT

Both FUT (strip harvesting) and FUE are in use in clinics today. While FUE has offered an alternative procedure for those that may not be eligible for FUT, the latter still offers good results for those wanting the highest yield of hair for maximum fullness across the scalp. FUT offers a more precise dissection of the donor strip, enabling you to harvest more selectively dependant on what is needed.

FUE, however, removes the risk of linear scarring and enables the patient to wear their hair short without concern that any scars will be seen. It also provides an option for those who may be at risk of a widened scar or scalp laxity following an FUT procedure. It is more subtle than FUT and can allow patients to go through a hair transplant with no physical signs that it has happened – with the exception of fuller hair, of course.

FUE hair transplants are a technological advancement that the hair loss industry has greatly benefited from. It has reduced recovery times, improved the overall outcome and offered an alternative for patients who may not have benefited from FUT. It can be used to cover previous FUT scars too, and so has opened existing and potential patients up to more natural results overall.

Follicular Unit Extraction: The Technological Advancement That Changed Hair Transplants

David Redman

David Redman is an experienced and notable author, who loves taking on new challenges and writing across a huge range of topics -channelling his personal experience and expertise. When Redman isn’t tapping away at his keyboard, creating his latest masterpiece, he can be found exploring new countries and cultures or burying his head in a good book.

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