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Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Follicular Unit Extraction also known as FUE is a hair restoration technique that was developed as an alternative to the traditional FUT strip surgery.

FUE can be described as extracting follicular units one at a time. In a traditional hair restoration such as a FUT, an incision is made to remove a linear strip of tissue in the scalp. The strip of tissue is then dissected under a microscope to harvest the individual follicular units.  The differences between the two procedures is the manner in which they potentially scar. In a tradition strip procedure a person may have a linear scar line across the donor area. In a FUE procedure there is the potential for small circular dotting from the extraction sites. However, there is no difference between the results and final outcome of either procedure. Both of these procedures have been proven effective to treat hair loss.

The advantages of an FUE are as follows:

  1. Reduced recovery times.
  2. No linear incision and no linear scar.
  3. Able to wear shorter hair styles.
  4. Patients who have had multiple procedures and cannot be harvested with traditional methods.
  5. Patients who need to cover wide scars by adding hair into the scars.
  6. Minimally Invasive

Disadvantages of an FUE are as follows:

  1. A FUE usually takes longer than a traditional strip method.
  2. FUE procedures limit the amount of grafts that can be harvested at one time.
  3. There is a potential for small white dotting in the areas of extraction.
  4. The cost of a FUE is usually higher than a traditional strip surgery.


The Procedure

FUE can be broken down into 3 distinct sub-procedures.

1. Extractions during FUE:

drillDuring an extraction, the follicular units  are harvested from the donor region which is usually the back and the sides of the scalp. The donor area and its follicular units are not as susceptible to genetically related male pattern baldness. The extraction process does take time and should be performed by a skilled person in order to achieve a good growth rate.

Usually the extraction process will take approximately 4 hours and typically from 8AM to 12PM at our clinic. The patient will sit upright and watch movies, listen to music or chat.

The tools involved in FUE are quite small. We typically use a 0.9mm circular punch that is attached to a motorized handle.

 2. Site creation or incisions:

The second part of a FUE procedure is creating the places to insert the follicular units for transplant. Dr. Woessner will take between 30 minutes to an hour to carefully design your hair transplant . The follicular units must be set into the scalp at exactly the right depth, angle and location to achieve a completely natural and aesthetically satisfying appearance without damaging the patient’s pre-operative hair.

3. Placing the grafts into the scalp:

This part of the procedure may last for 3 to 4 hours or more and it depends on the amount of follicular units that are extracted or dissected under the microscope. The technicians must treat the grafts for what they are: tiny, living organs which can produce a natural appearing and artistic hair transformation.

Body Hair FUE

beardBody hair follicular unit extraction can be performed using the FUE technique. The extraction of hair follicles outside of the scalp has provided an additional option for a person that has a limited donor source. Follicles can be harvested from the chest and even the beard. However, the rule of thumb in body hair is that the length of the hair (below the beard area) is the length that it will grow to when it is transplanted. Only the beard hair will grow at a longer length.

Beard Extraction. Post Op 10 Days

Recovery After a FUE Procedure

The recovery time for FUE is on average less than a week. A FUE rarely has pain and discomfort after the first night. After a FUT strip method, you may have pain or discomfort for a day or two, however this is also rare.

There may be residual numbness on the scalp that could last for a few months during the healing process.

“If our fee is beyond your means, let us know and we will adjust it accordingly. We want you to have the best transplant.”

…Dr. Woessner

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