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Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant Advantages follicular unit extraction hair transplant advantages Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant Advantages follicular unit extraction hair transplant advantages 1
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Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant Advantages

Follicular unit extraction (FUE), also known as follicular transfer (FT), is one of two primary methods of obtaining hair follicles, naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs, for hair transplantation. The other method is called strip harvesting.

The survival of follicular units upon extraction from the scalp is one of the key variables of successful hair transplantation. If follicular units are transected in the extraction process, there is a greater likelihood that they will not survive the transplant, and the hair transplant will fail. While FUT procedures using strip-harvesting of follicular units typically guarantees a large number of non-transected follicular units, FUE procedures can, and often do, transect grafts, rendering them useless in a transplant.

ADVANTAGES OF FUE

Surgeon’s Perspective

  • It needs less manpower than FUT; One doctor with one or two assistants can run a centre.
  • The procedure is less traumatic and surgical experience is not essential.
  • Graft preparation is minimal.
  • Less equipment is needed.

Patient’s Perspective

  • Can sport short hair
  • Minimal post-operative recovery time
  • Microscopic scars in donor area are almost invisible
  • No need to visit surgeon again for stitch removal
  • Can use body hair for added density with this technique only
  • Can cover preexisting scar of strip surgery with FUE[]
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Table 1

Comparison of FUT strip method and FUE

Observation Strip FUE
Pain after the procedure Minor None
Percent of time the doctor operates on the patient 10–30% 80–90%
Stitches required Yes No
Extensive bleeding during or after the procedure May occur No
Wearing hairstyle short in the donor area Not possible Possible
Natural results Yes Yes
Nerve damage, numbness, permanent pain[25] Possibly No
Healing time: donor area 2-3 weeks Approx. 7 days
Healing time: recipient area Approx. 14 days 10–14 days
Transection rate (grafts damaged during extraction) Varies 1–2% 5–10%
Recovery time needed before exercise is possible 2–3 weeks 1–2 weeks
Amount of time after which patient may return to work The day after Usually the day after
Visible scarring with short hair at back May be present Microscopic scars
Reactions to suture materials Seen rarely Never a problem
Shaving of head not needed needed
Large areas possible difficult
Cost cheaper expensive
Fatigue not tiring tiring

Conclusion

FUE is an exciting advancement that propels the field of hair transplant surgery one step closer to the elite minimally invasive status. The promise of an almost scarless surgery is enticing to both patient and the surgeon. The reasons for selecting FUE rather than a strip harvest may be the avoidance of a linear scar, the desire for a naturally pain free post-op period or simply the idea of having a minimally invasive procedure.

The technique can serve as an important alternative to traditional hair transplantation in certain selected patients. More research is needed to render the procedure faster, cut short the surgery time and improve the transection rates, so that it can be adopted in greater number of patients.

For more information please visit https://drthair.com/contact-us/

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