Follicular unit extraction, also known as FUE hair transplantation, is a labor-intensive hair transplant procedure that leaves no visible scars and allows the patient to wear his hair very short. It has been a much-discussed surgical procedure in the field of hair transplantation for many years.
In the FUE process, follicular units are extracted from the donor area of the patient with a small round micro punch. The needle of the punch is aligned axially to the scalp, which is removed and cut along the circumference of a selected follicle unit. After cutting, the actual graft is dissected by a technician who ensures that the follicular units remain intact. This dissection is performed under a microscope for visualization, which can reduce the waste of valuable donor hair.
The availability of FUE transplants expands the possibilities that patients can consider for surgical hair restoration. It allows for Improved positioning of harvesting tools based on the angle and orientation of follicular units and improves the effectiveness of hair transplantation procedures while reducing the chances of a hair transaction during harvesting.
In applying this system and hair transplant methods, it is important to plan transplants first by selecting the “endpoint”, or the exact location where the hair is to be implanted, and specifying the exact angle and orientation of where each follicle element is to be implanted.
In this method, a naturally occurring group of one to four hairs, or follicular unit, is removed from the patient during hair restoration and then surgically implanted into the bald area of the patient’s scalp. The grafts are separated and placed on the scalp to mimic natural growth. In the past, harvested grafts were relatively large (up to 3.5 mm), whereas more recently the transplant from the donor can be as small as a single follicle unit, 0.8mm. Aesthetic density is achieved with 35 units of transplanted hair per square cm of scalp.
Single follicular units are often used to fill the hairline and achieve greater density in the center of the scalp. For example, individual hair follicle units (F1s) are often used to frame the face by creating or reinforcing an existing hairline. Larger follicular units are used to fill in areas behind the hairline.
FUE hair transplants are considered one of the best forms of hair restoration today. Find out if you are a good candidate for FUE by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Stoller online at hairdoctornyc.com or call his office at 212-920-4499.