What is the Follicular Unit Extraction Method?
Follicular unit extraction is a new modification of standard follicular unit transplantation. The planting of follicular units into the recipient area is identical in both techniques and, thus, both offer transplant growth without “plugginess”.
The difference is found in the method of harvesting the hair from the donor area. Instead of excising a strip of hair, suturing the area together, and then dissecting the follicular units underneath a microscope, the follicular units in the FUE method are removed from the scalp individually, one by one. Therefore, there is no wound to be stitched and there is no need for microscopes.
The follicular units are removed by placing a 1 mm punch around a single follicular unit and cutting a small circle through the skin around that follicular unit. The follicular unit is then grasped and gently pulled away from the loose connective tissue surrounding it underneath the skin.
Once it is removed, no further preparation is necessary. It is ready for implanting. The small hole left behind is left to heal in by itself which it does over one to two weeks. This process is repeated hundreds of times until the desired number of follicular units are obtained. Rather than having a white, linear scar as with standard follicular unit transplantation, the patient is left with numerous 1 mm round white scars.
Proponents claim the advantage is less noticeable scarring and no tightness of the scalp (because no tissue has been brought together and sutured as in standard follicular unit transplantation).
Follicular Unit Extraction Method
The difference of FUE method from the other techniques is instead of cutting out a strip of hair from the donor area, it removes the hair follicles one by one, therefore the scarring on the donor area is minimised.
The follicular units are extracted by using a 1 mm punch on a single follicular unit. After that the follicular unit is carefully pulled away from the connective tissue around the skin. After the extraction, no other procedure is needed to be done, implantation can be done right away. This process is repeated until the needed number of follicles are transplanted.
Advantages of Using Follicular Unit Extraction Method
- No visible scarring
- Natural looking results
- No tightness on the scalp since the tissues are not separated
Disadvantages of Using Follicular Unit Extraction Method
- FUE method is not compatible to all patients, there are some instances where in the follicular units are broken during the extraction. Damage follicular units means unhealthy hair growth.
- FUE method may not be advisable for very large hair transplants or for transgender hair transplants.
The FUE method is the best method for most hair transplant procedures as it’s very similar to the DHI method but more affordable and produces no visible scars when comparing it to the FUT method.
Aside from achieving fantastic results, we believe that keeping in touch with our patients before, during and after their hair transplantation procedure is paramount – it helps to keep our patients feeling calm and in control. We’re always on hand to provide guidance, support and aftercare advice. Time and again, our patients tell us that this is what sets us apart from other clinics.
You can read our great reviews of FUE hair transplants over on Google and TrustPilot