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Understanding Follicular Unit Extraction

There’s a good deal of debate in the hair loss community about which transplant method is better – FUE or FUT. The truth is there is no single right answer, as a lot depends on the severity of the patient’s hair loss and how many grafts are needed. That being said, there are some key benefits FUE hair transplants provide which makes them the more popular choice among patients right now.

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What is FUE?

Follicular unit extraction is one of the two main types of hair transplant procedure performed today – the other being FUT. In an FUE procedure, units of follicles are taken from the back and sides of the head and transplanted to the thinning areas.

The procedure

FUE is a very delicate procedure and therefore must be performed by someone with a lot of skill and experience. In order to extract the units from the back of the head, a combination of a sharp punch and dull punch is used. The sharp punch is first used to score the skin around the unit that’s going to be extracted. The dull punch is then used to go deeper into the surrounding soft tissue of the follicular unit.

The reason both a sharp and punch and a dull punch are used is to retain the quality of the follicles. If a sharp punch was used to score the skin, it could easily sever the underlying unit. Once the unit has been separated from the surrounding soft tissue, the follicles can then be extracted.

The small holes that are left in the back of the head typically take a few days to heal and the scars that are left behind are usually invisible to the human eye.

The advantages of FUE

  • No visible scarring – Perhaps the biggest benefit of FUE is that it doesn’t leave any visible scar. There are tiny scars where the hair is extracted but they cannot be compared to the scar that’s left behind from an FUT procedure.
  • Ideal for early-stage hair loss – FUE is great for patients that are in the early stages of hair loss, since less coverage is required and the best quality follicles can be used.
  • Great for patients who wish to shave their head – Not everyone who gets a hair transplant wants to grow their hair long. With an FUE procedure, you have the option to either grow your hair or shave your head. Because there’s no visible scarring, you can shave your head without feeling self-conscious.
  • Completely natural-looking resultsFUE hair transplants provide completely natural-looking results thanks to the refined techniques that are used to extract and transplant the hair.
  • Less invasive than FUT – Another thing that makes FUE more appealing to a lot of guys is that the process is less invasive. With an FUT procedure, a strip of skin is cut from the back of the head. With FUE, it’s a much more delicate and less invasive process.

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Here are the advantages offered by the FUE hair transplantation procedure over similar methods:

  • Ideally suited for people who like to sport shorter hair
  • Minimized scarring in the donor area
  • Faster healing and recovery time
  • Reduced limitations after the procedure
  • Best and easiest alternative when a strip excision cannot be performed on the scalp

Listed below are some of the disadvantages associated with the FUE procedure:

  • Wider donor zone area compared to equivalent transplant procedures
  • Quality of hair grafts is very delicate and the grafts have the possibility of getting easily destroyed during placement, as the grafts that have been extracted do not contain the protective dermis layer and fat.
  • The possibility that all the implanted grafts may not grow

What about the strip method?

Strip method is basically where a strip of scalp containing healthy hair follicles is extracted from the patient and implanted on the bald areas of the scalp of the patient. The donor area will then be stitched or stapled together, and stitches will be removed after the area heals. The incision associated with a strip method is usually linear.

Pros

  • Strip method is significantly economical compared to FUE, usually about half the price of FUE
  • Provides the ability to move a larger number of grafts in a single surgical session to the balding areas

Cons

  • More healing time compared to FUE procedure
  • Long, linear scar as a result of the procedure

Our Successful Case Studies

 

3400 FUE case on a middle-aged male with video

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35 year old before and one year post op 3000 graft FUE

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Before and 8 months post op 3000 graft FUE in a 50 year old male

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10 Great Reasons To Get FUE FUE is less painful than FUT.

There’s a good deal of debate in the hair loss community about which transplant method is best – FUE or FUT. The truth is there is no single right answer, as a lot depends on the severity of the patient’s hair loss and how many grafts are needed. That being said, there are some key benefits FUE hair transplants provide, which makes them the more popular choice among patients right now.

Below are 10 reasons to get an FUE hair transplant.

  • You want more density and coverageThis is a key advantage of FUE. If you require a lot of grafts, FUE hair transplants will enable the doctor to extract hair from anywhere on the scalp where hair is currently growing. This is not possible with FUT.
  • You don’t want a scarAnother reason why FUE is such a popular transplant method is that it leaves no visible scar. This is because, unlike FUT, where a strip is cut from the back of the scalp, the hair follicles are individually harvested from the donor area, which means there is no need to make any incisions.
  • Healing time is quickerHealing time for FUE hair transplants is also a lot quicker. You don’t have to hide under a hat for weeks after your operation.
  • There’s no restriction on exerciseWhen you have an FUT transplant, the scar in the donor area means you’re restricted in your movement until it’s healed. This is a worry you don’t have with FUE and it means you can exercise and do other strenuous activities post-op.
  • There’s a much larger donor areaThis means if you need to have your hairline rebuilt or you require a larger number of grafts, it’s usually not a problem, as the hair can be extracted from anywhere on the scalp.
  • Extremely natural-looking resultsNatural-looking results are always desirable with a hair transplant, and FUE hair transplants more than deliver in this area. Because of the refined techniques that are used to extract and implant the hair, the results are incredibly natural-looking.
  • More choice of haircutsBecause there’s no scar left in the donor area, you can shave your hair very short if you wish. This isn’t an option with FUT, unless you want to have a visible scar showing.
  • Get back to work quickerBecause the healing time is quicker with FUE hair transplants, you can get back to work much quicker. This is a big bonus, since most people prefer to get a transplant done with minimum disruption to their everyday life.
  • No cutting is requiredIf the thought of having a slice of your skin removed from the back of your scalp isn’t a pleasant one, you’re certainly not alone. With FUE, all the follicles are individually extracted, with no scalpels required.
  • There’s less painFUE is less painful than FUT, for the obvious reason that the donor area doesn’t have to be cut into.


Testimonials

At 62, with no immediate plans of retirement, I erred on the side of a full hairline where one once lived decades ago. Clearly, the feedback from my extensive FUE research, held Dr. Jones and team in high regard. Today, exactly 12 months later, I would be remiss if I did not add to the long history of success stories. He and his team explained every step from initial consult to month by month expectations. His technical skills are surpassed only by his knowledge and ever-available support along the way. The backdrop in my pics are no longer seen through the middle of my scalp. Instead, I present a definitive hairline as well as natural fill to the back of my head.

My advice: do it before your dome becomes too pronounced.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Thank you Dr. Robert Jones and team – I’m proud to be your senior poster child!

Ron Zito | READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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