FUE is the acronym for Follicular Unit Extraction
This modern technique of hair transplantation has been used since 2003. This treatment is more advanced than the previous transplant methods, such as strip harvesting transplantation and FUT.
FUE is a method of extracting or “harvesting” donor hair from an existing follicular unit. In FUE hair transplants, a specialised extraction instrument is used to make a small circular incision in the skin around a follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue. The unit is extracted directly from the scalp, leaving a small open hole. The scalp is punctured using a specialist micro surgical needle to receive the extracted grafts. The grafts are then inserted at an angle into the recipient area, and with a specific density, so that it will resemble a natural and realistic hair pattern.
FUE has become the procedure of choice of patients worldwide for the following reasons:
- It takes much less time to heal and it does not leave any visible scars.
- It does not cause pain and post-surgical discomfort, and the average recovery time is less than 7 days.
- Once the procedure is performed, the results are permanent.
How does the treatment work?
With FUE collection, individual follicular units containing 2 to 5 hairs (also called grafts) are removed from the donor site under local anaesthesia. The extraction procedure uses a micro-surgical extraction instrument, between 0.7 mm and 1.0 mm in diameter, to extract the follicles. The extracted follicles are soaked in a special solution that is +4 or +10 degrees.
The selected transplant area is anesthetized. The surgeon, using specialist micro surgical needles, then punctures the scalp area that is to receive the grafts. As the final stage, the grafts are transplanted into the open channels in the selected recipient areas.
The channel opening in the right angle and depth is a crucial procedure as the channels are considered the incubator area for the grafts, and the survival of the follicular units depend on them. If the grafts are inserted into channels with bigger diameters, then they cannot adapt to their new environment and this would cause dents and further holes in the scalp and hair roots. Likewise, if the grafts are forced to be transported into smaller size channels, then the grafts would get damaged, which causes reduced growth rate and lower density in the recipient area.
The amount of grafts necessary for the patient is determined by the surgeon during the examination before the surgery. The duration of a FUE procedure can vary depending on how many grafts are needed. In general, the entire operation lasts from six hours to nine hours.
- Hair implants using the FUE technique is a minor procedure performed under local anaesthesia. You will be perfectly awake and can talk to the surgeon during the procedure.
- The local anaesthetic is injected into the scalp of the donor area and then the desired number of follicles are extracted one by one from this area.
- They are carefully collected following a dispersion pattern to minimise visual decrease in hair density in the donor area.
- The recipient area is anaesthetised and numerous micro-incisions are made with a micro-needle designed specifically for this procedure.
- The grafts are then placed in these incisions.
- After the procedure is finalised, the scalp will feel a little tight and sore, but this sensation will pass quickly and it will return to normal within a few hours.
- Sometimes a slight swelling is observed. The operated areas of the scalp will appear slightly pinker than usual for a few days.
- The transplanted hair grows for two or three weeks and then they fall. This shedding is normal and is due to the shock loss.
- About 3 months after the procedure, the hair grows normally from the root following a growth pattern as fast and as long as your normal hair.
- The hair in the frontal zone will grow in 6 or 8 months and the hair in the upper area will grow in 8 or 12 months.
- Once you have had a hair implant using the FUE technique, the results are permanent.
The best candidates for hair replacement
Candidates to perform this type of procedure should have healthy hair growth in the back (nape) and lateral area of the head that serve as donor areas. The donor areas are the places in the head from which the grafts are taken. To determine if you are a suitable candidate to undergo this procedure, at FUECAPILAR, we consider:
- Number of grafts needed to meet your expectations
- Density of donor hair
- Hair texture
- Future projections of hair loss