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Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)


A minimally-invasive hair transplant technique with quicker recovery time, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) involves harvesting follicular unit grafts from the patient’s donor area and then transplanting into the recipient, or balding, spot.

While still a surgical process, FUE varies from standard Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) procedures in a few significant regards. One, FUT involves removing hair from scalp in one long strip, which is then divided into individual units using a stereo-microscope. FUE, on the other hand, has the follicular units extracted directly, usually from DHT-resistant areas on the sides and back of the scalp, and allows them to be removed from more areas of the body.

How Does FUE Work?

The procedure, lasting anywhere from one to two hours at a time to two consecutive days, begins with a circular incision, or “punch,” which separates the graft from the surrounding tissue and leaves a small open hole. The physician uses a precision tool, no larger than 1mm in diameter, to extract the graft and prepare it for placement.

However, before harvesting, “recipient sites” are made in the thinning area using a fine needle-point tool. The procedure then places the follicular units in these sites, where they grow into hair-producing follicles.

After, the physician uses a high-powered stereo-microscope to isolate, prepare, and keep the graft in an ideal condition. The physician arranges the grafts based on the number of hairs included within follicle, which is usually one to four.

Following, the follicles are placed into pre-made recipient sites, are added one at a time, or, if not transplanted right away, may be kept in a saline or similar solution. Forceps, an implantation pen, or a similar tool is used.

By taking this approach, the physician ensures the hair’s natural growth pattern. The restored hair then replicates this arrangement, taking on a natural look. Patients should expect the hair to begin growing three months after, and to show significant development by six months.

FUE or FUT?

Although both are surgical hair transplant procedures using a similar depth of incision, there are a few notable differences:

  • FUE allows follicular units to be harvested from other parts of the body.
  • FUE uses nearly five times the area as FUT for the same number of grafts.
  • As an outpatient procedure, FUE is less invasive, with a shorter recovery time and less post-operative pain.
  • With FUE, physicians can select the best follicular units.
  • FUE is optimal for smaller procedures, such as eye brows.
  • FUE is ideal for those who prefer to wear their hair short or who regularly engage in demanding, strenuous activities.
  • FUE is a better alternative for those who healed poorly from a strip-harvesting procedure or who have a tight scalp.
  • Recovery from FUE is considerably quicker, and the patient can return to work within a few days.
  • With FUE, the donor area becomes far less noticeable over a few days.
  • FUE creates permanent, naturally-looking hair growth.

Connecticut Hair Centers offers some of the most advanced hair treatments and technologies. To explore all surgical procedures, contact our office to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.

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