The Complete Guide of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
What Exactly Are Follicular Units?
The hair that we see on our head is bunched together in a group of two, three & four and in rare cases five as well. These entire groups are together and connected which are called Follicular Units. It is important that the follicular units are intact and unharmed during any extraction process as they need to be reinserted again in the recipient area and continue to grow and nourish.
FUE is more appropriate for men who like to wear their hair short or shaved because of the light scarring caused by FUT. In this blog we would be covering the entire concept and procedure of FUE, the cost of undergoing the procedure, the possible risk as well as complication, benefits and most importantly the success rate of FUE
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What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?
The hair transplant technology has come a long way from a patch from the days when Punch Hair transplant was invented by Dr. Orentreich in the 1950s to Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) that was introduced in 1990s. The latest chapter in hair transplant is Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE
In this procedure instead of harvesting grafts from an entire strip of skin, individual grafts are removed with the use of needle and punching a hole in the skin to obtain the graft and later place the same in the recipient area.
When to Use FUE?
Although FUE is the latest innovation in hair transplant surgery, it is very important to understand under what circumstances can we use this technique. Below mentioned are some of the conditions in which FUE should ideally be used.
- When the hair transplant patient wants to wear a hairstyle that’s very short
- When the patient specifically in looking for FUE procedure
- When a patient does not want a linear scar in the back of his/her head which happens in FUT procedure
- A patient who has a very small area for hair transplant
- A patient who needs hair transplant for eyebrows, eyelashes or mustache
- Patient who has less laxity(very tight skin) for a strip surgery of FUT
Is FUE Suitable for You?
Generally as a rule of thumb FUT is considered suitable for a greater demographic of people than that of FUE. Several immediate factors are to be taken into account to determine suitability for a particular method of FUE Hair Transplantation.
- The extent of your hair loss and the amount of restoration you require.
- The type of hair you have i.e straight, wavy, curly, afro-caribbean
- How you intend to style/wear your hair
- Whether you are prepared to shave your hair for the procedure
- The overall condition of your potential donor area
- The budget aswell as time frame to complete treatment
How is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Done?
In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) although the method of extraction of graft is different but the implantation procedure is identical to the FUT procedure. Below mentioned is the step by step procedure of the FUE.
- The donor area hair is trimmed to 1-2mm length
- Local anesthesia is administered slowly in the donor area
- The grafts are then taken with the use of micropunches that are 0.8 to 1mm in size
- Through the use of the sharp side of the micropunch, scoring of the skin present on the scalp that contains follicular unit is done
- The dull side of punch is used in the same area and is twisted which makes the follicular unit loosen up. In the meanwhile, the assistant applies counter traction that facilitates the penetration of the punch inside the dermis
- The assistant then with the use of forceps carefully takes out the graft
- These grafts are then preserved in saline or cool ringer’s lactate solution
- After the extraction is complete, the grafts are then implanted with the same procedure as FUT
Cost of FUE
The cost of FUE depends on various factors. The first factor is the area on which the implantation needs to done. The cost here is directly proportional to the area that needs to be transplanted. FUE is a time-consuming procedure and also requires surgeons who have a complicated skill set and history of long practice. All in all the FUE procedure is much costlier than FUT procedure.
Success Rate of FUE
In a recent study conducted on patients, it was found out that of all the patients 98% found the graft yielded excellent result through two-step process while 93% found the graft yielded excellent result through a three-step process. Bear in mind that hair transplants require highly skilled staff as well as time, not rushing to get the next patient in. That’s why we only perform one major hair transplant procedure per day. Costs and prices for hair transplant procedures depend heavily on your level of hair loss, your aspirations and the chosen method of hair transplant surgery.
Benefits of FUE
Now that you know what is FUE and the procedure, you must be curious about what are the benefits of undergoing hair transplant through FUE.
Here are some benefits of FUE:
- Unlike FUT that leaves a linear scar in the donor area, FUE procedure does not leave any such major scar and it is difficult to see any scars by the naked eye
- The recovery time for a patient who undergoes FUE is much quicker than FUT
- There is no risk of any nerve damage or numbness
FUE Complications, Risks & Side Effects Include
As for any surgical procedure, FUE too has its own share of risks, side effects, and complications involved.Typically, any side effects which follow a hair transplant will be minor and will often clear up within a few weeks of the procedure.
Here are some short term & long term side effects of the FUE:
Short-Term Side Effects Include:
- Infection in the donor or recipient area
- Crusting or generation of pus near the surgery area
- Bleeding near donor area
- Loss of sensation or numbness at the donor area
Long-Term Complications Include:
- Grafts which fail to take
- Hair curl resulting in ingrown hair
FUE Vs FUT
Every procedure has its own advantages and disadvantages and the same is true of both hair transplant procedure FUE and FUT. FUE is the latest invention in the hair transplant field while FUT has been around nearly two decades.
An experienced doctor would be able to help you understand which procedure might yield better result as each and every person is different, but still, if you want to have a side by side comparison between both of them, you can read it in below blog.
Related Blog Comparing Hair Transplantation Types: FUE vs FUT
So to conclude, FUE is the latest invention and overcomes some of the shortcomings that its predecessors like FUT had but then again it is not a foolproof procedure and it has its own set of challenges and risks.
Want to know more? Call us on +919890225577 now to fix up an appointment with our expert hair physicians who post the scalp analysis, can suggest the best possible hair transplant procedure along with the cost and time period involved.