Follicular Unit extraction (FUE) is the most advanced evolving hair transplant technique in which a small round punch is used to extract follicular units from a patient's donor area which is considered to be resistant to hair fall. These grafts (follicular unit of 1, 2, 3 and 4 hair groupings called) are then transplanted into a patient's balding/thinning areas. It is minimal invasive procedure performed under local anaesthesia.
Humans hairs grown in natural groupings of one to four hairs. In FUE, individual grouping (graft units) are extracted using a surgical punch tool. The punch tool is positioned over the hair where it emerges from the scalp, This process is repeated until the hair transplant surgeon has harvested enough follicular units for the planned hair restoration. This process constitutes the first step of hair transplant and usually takes 2-3 hours. The donor wounds, approximately 1-mm in size, heal in approximately 8-10 days. After only 4-6 months, there is no visible scar left. During implementation, grafts are aligned with the direction of the hair growth.
FUT vs FUE: Comparing Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) to the Standard Strip Procedure.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) are sometimes mistakenly viewed as opposing hair transplant techniques. FUE, in fact, is a sub-type of FUT where follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp rather than being microscopically dissected from a strip of tissue that has already been removed (via the strip harvesting technique). Thus, during FUT, individual follicular units can be obtained in one of two ways; either through strip harvesting and microscopic dissection or via FUE.
When comparisons are being made between FUT and FUE, what is really being compared is the way follicular units are obtained (strip harvesting and dissection vs. direction extraction). The type of grafts (follicular units) and the process for transplanting grafts in the recipient area is the same.
Results produced by today's FUE hair transplantation and Strip Procedures are very natural and dense in the hands of expert hair restoration physicians. However, FUE and strip harvesting are very different techniques and are handled very differently.
This method of donor harvesting, removing follicular units one-by-one directly from the scalp, is what differentiates the FUE hair transplant from a traditional Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), where the donor hair is removed from the scalp in one thin, long strip and then subsequently dissected into individual follicular units using a stereo-microscope.
The creation of recipient sites and the placing of follicular unit grafts are essentially the same in both FUE and FUT procedures. The difference lies in the appearance of the donor area and in the quality and quantity of grafts obtained with each technique.
We have our own medical team who has a vast experience in the FUE technique, having performed the FUE method on thousands of patients with highly successful results.
The FUE method does not to leave any scars on the head as stiches are not involved in the procedure.
The main advantages of the FUE hair transplant technique;
FUE is an exciting advancement that propels the field of hair transplant surgery one step closer to the elite minimally invasive status. The promise of an almost scarless surgery is enticing to both patient and the surgeon. The reasons for selecting FUE rather than a strip harvest may be the avoidance of a linear scar, the desire for a naturally pain free post-op period or simply the idea of having a minimally invasive procedure.