Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Follicular unit extraction, sometimes referred to simply as FUE, is a method of hair transplant surgery that manually removes individual hair follicles from the patient's scalp. Once extracted, hairs are then implanted to bald or thinning areas around the head.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
Follicular unit extraction, or FUE, is a method used for hair transplants to give patients with balding or thinning manes a naturally thicker appearance to hair. Unlike more invasive methods such as follicular unit transplantation, or FUT, this method does not require the removal of a donor strip of scalp to extract individual follicles. The FUE technique is performed manually, from extraction to implantation, by a skilled hair transplant surgeon. Newer methods such as Neograft or the ARTAS system automizes parts of the FUE procedure for quicker treatments and less error. Before the dissection of the follicles begins, the donor section of scalp will first be shaved to provide the doctor with better visualization so as not to over-harvest areas. The donor area will then be cleansed and anesthetized with a local numbing agent. During the procedure, one of two extraction methods will be used: sharp or blunt dissection. The sharp punch dissection technique limits the depth of the punch insertion in order to avoid follicle transection and provides a more consistent graft. The blunt punch dissection technique uses a dull tip that is less likely to transect the follicles and the tip guides the follicles into the lumen of the punch. This allows for a deeper level of dissection, thereby decreasing manipulation and the force needed for graft extraction. Your hair transplant surgeon will decide what technique is best for your individual needs. During the procedure, 2,400-5,000 grafts will be harvested to a particular area on the scalp. If hairs are transplanted to the eyebrows, typically only 150-200 grafts are needed. Your surgeon will be careful to avoid over-harvesting donor areas so as not to cause the body to experience telogen effluvium, a reversible form of temporary hair loss caused by physical or emotional stress.
Follicullar unit extraction seeks to reverse hair loss created by thinning hair, bald spots and receding hairlines. Hairloss caused by medication, stress or medical treatment cannot be addressed by strip harvesting.
What to Expect
Follicular unit extraction is a method of hair transplant surgery that manually removes and implants individual hair follicles from the patient's scalp. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a FUE hair transplant.
- Stop using topical hair treatments for 2 weeks
- A prescription shampoo may be recommended
- Stop taking blood thinning medications for 2 weeks
- No alcohol 3 days prior
- No smoking 1 week before and after
- Patients with light hair will dye hair 3 days prior
- Donor section of scalp is shaved
- Donor area is cleansed and anesthetized
- 2,400-5,000 grafts will be individually harvested
- Hairs are implanted into the scalp in thinning areas
Following a FUE hair transplant surgery, avoid activities that cause excessive sweating such as exercise and heavy lifting for at least 10 days. Steam rooms, saunas, and other similar activities should also be avoided. Do not drink any alcohol for at least 1 week postoperatively to ensure quick healing. Be cautious to not touch or comb any areas that received grafts as they will be sensitive.
The ideal candidate for a FUE hair transplant desires hair restoration but would like the option of wearing their hair short.
Not Recommended For
Follicular unit extraction is not recommended for patients with poor donor sites or who have hair loss as a result of medication, stress, or medical treatment as these can be reversed.
Side effects from FUE may include hemorrhage, infection, telogen effluvium, itching, scarring, cysts, bleeding and swelling.