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