FUE Hair Transplantation
Follicular Unit Extraction, also known as FUE Hair Transplantation is a procedure that allows the patient to keep their donor hair very short with no apparent scar. In traditional follicular unit hair transplantation there is always a small linear scar where the hair is removed that is covered by the surrounding hair. If the patient later shaved their head the scar may be visible. This is not the case with FUE’s since every follicular unit is individually extracted leaving the donor area virtually scarless. The trade off is that the procedure takes much more time and usually involves few hairs transplanted at a time in comparison with a strip procedure.
Strip harvesting produces a linear scar. The appearance of the donor strip scar can be a significant concern for patients who wish to wear their hair very short. The vast majority of patients who undergo strip harvesting have minimal scars that are easily concealed by the hair above the scar. However, some scars may widen overtime. The use of the trichophytic method of closure for strip harvesting can help improve the appearance of the strip harvest scar.
The primary rationale for the use of FUE is that a linear scar is avoided. Several proponents of FUE market the procedure as a technique that does not involve cutting, is less invasive and does not result in visible scars. While a linear scar is not created with FUE, circular scars are created and can be invisible to the naked eye and well camouflaged by the hair that surrounds the harvested areas. Those tiny scars are usually 0.8mm to 1.0 mm in diameter and it heals very nicely.
Strip harvesting and FUE are both acceptable techniques for harvesting donor grafts. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages. FUE is well suited for patients who insist on not having a linear scar, among other indications. It may be an excellent choice for young patients seeking small procedures. Large procedures are usually done in two days. FUE may be the ideal choice for harvesting trunk, leg and arm hair, and it is an excellent way to camouflage strip scars.
Common questions about FUE include the following:
- The area of the scalp treated
- The number and size of grafts used
- The patient’s desired density of hair
- The hair’s physical characteristics, e.g. coarse hair will provide a denser, more full-bodied look than fine hair
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