The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplant

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Insertion (FUI)

FUE represents the most up to date technique in hair restoration science, and dissimilar to the FUT method, nearly no tissue is extracted from the head of the patient. It is possible to remove follicular units (FU) individually using the FUT method, and these can be harvested from any donor site on the body; this is carried out by employing fine, hollow needles/punches.

One of the chief benefits of this approach is that the client is not left with a protracted, linear scar on the donor site. Regarding the FUT and FUE methods, debate has often centred around the matter of whether microscopic scars can be discerned in the scalp region. Nevertheless, after undergoing hair restoration with FUE, the variety of hairstyles that can viably be worn by the client is greater than with the FUT method; moreover, short hair can be worn following the FUE method. Given the way in which FUE only involves the removal of FU from the rear of the scalp, it is frequently referred to as resulting in ‘scarless’ outcomes.

Follicular Units

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The image above shows that the growth of hair takes place in naturally occurring groupings. When we use the term ‘follicular unit’, we are referring to groupings of hair in the range of 1-5, with an average of 2.2 hairs.

In the course of the FUE method, the naturally occurring groups are extracted on an individual basis, and this is carried out with the utmost precision using a fine, hollow punch known as the FUE manual punch.

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This image shows a follicular unit which has been removed and placed adjacent to a hollow punch.

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Advantages of FUE and FUI

The primary benefits of undergoing a hair transplant with this technique are as follows:

– High growth yields when professional, experienced, and specialist hair surgeons carry out the procedure.
– High density (namely, thick hair) given the proximity of one FU to another.
– Minimally invasive.
– Following treatment, patients have the option of wearing their hair long or short. This is not a viable option with other hair restoration techniques.
– No tissue is extracted from the scalp.
– Where scalp-based donor supplies are not sufficient to achieve the client’s outcomes, it is possible to use FUE to transplant body hair.
– Scarless outcomes.
– Rapid recovery rates.

Disadvantages of FUE and FUI

The main disadvantages are listed as follows:

– Compared to other techniques, FUE is far more time-intensive.
– The number of FU that can be transplanted each day is limited.
– Given the time-intensive nature of the process, it generally costs more.
– Relatively few hair surgeons have the experience to successfully carry out the procedure.
– Generally, it is necessary to shave the recipient site entirely.