FUE Hair Transplant
Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) also known as follicular transfer (FT), is a minimally invasive hair transplantation technique in which follicular unit grafts (hair roots) are individually removed from the patient’s donor area and then individually inserted into the recipient (balding) area in the agreed density and pattern by using a micro-punch device of 0.75 to 1 mm size which leaves very small dot scars instead of a linear scar as in the case of the Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) method, hence no sutures are needed in this method of hair transplantation. The recovery period is shorter with less visible scarring compared to that of FUT.
FUE is also know by proprietary names such as DHI (Direct Hair Implantation), FIT (Follicular Isolation Technique) CIT (Cole Isolation Technique), FUSE (Follicular Unit Separation Extraction), WOOD’S METHOD etc.
“ABC is excellent – I was well looked after following the surgery”
Candidate for FUE-
When any patient specifically requests for FUE procedure and enough grafts can be harvested to meet his or her desired outcome.
Patients who want to wear their hair very short.
In patients with limited hair loss.
In the treatment of widened scars resulting from traditional strip extractions.
Patients having inadequate laxity for a strip excision.
When previous scars of strip surgeries make further strips impossible, then FUE is a possible alternative.
In patients, who tend to heal with wide or thickened linear scars.
For patients with an unusual fear of pain or scars.
When body or beard serves as a donor area.
FUE technique is the only technique useful in body hair transplantation. The earlier indication of limited areas of donor site has been overcome by Body Hair Transplant.
Candidate should be FOX TEST positive. This test checks if the hair follicles are proper for implantation and degree of easiness with which they can be removed without damaging the scalp.
The FUE Procedure-
It is usually performed under local anaesthesia, which is firstly administered in the donor area and then in the recipient area.
Selection & Preparation of the Donor Area
Typically, the area in the back and sides of the scalp where hair is more resistant to balding (DHT resistant areas) is selected as the donor area for hair transplantation. However, hair from other parts of the body may also be used but scalp hair works best.
Before surgery, patient’s hair in the donor area is trimmed short so the surgeon is able to optimally visualize and work on the patient’s scalp, as well as each donor follicle.
Follicular Unit Harvesting from donor area:
During the Follicular Unit Excision, individual follicular unit grafts (naturally occurring groups of 1-4 hairs in the scalp) are harvested one at a time using a tiny punch from the donor area.
First, a small sharp punch typically ranging from 0.7mm to 1.0 mm is used to score the soft tissue surrounding the follicular unit. This tends to envelope the follicular unit, while separating it from the surrounding soft tissues. Once the underlying follicular unit is separated from the surrounding tissues, it can then be extracted (pulled) directly from the scalp, leaving a small hole. This process is typically referred to as “blunt dissection”. This process is repeated until the hair transplant surgeon has harvested enough follicular units for the planned hair restoration.
The FUE patient typically ends up with hundreds of tiny round white scars buried in the hair in the back and sides of the scalp, which are usually not visible to the casual observer even when the patient’s hair is cropped short.
This process can take one or more hours and in large sessions, may be accomplished over two consecutive days.
Follicular Unit Placement in recipient area:
The surgeon makes small incisions in the patient’s recipient area (areas of hair loss) by using a fine needle-point instrument keeping with the patient’s natural hair growth pattern. The follicular grafts are then placed one by one into these tiny recipient sites where they will grow into healthy hair-producing follicles. The strategic placement of these follicular units provides the foundation for creating natural-looking results. The single hair units are placed in the front to create a natural looking hair-line and the multiple hair grafts are placed behind to create density.
Preservation of follicular units:
Harvested grafts that aren’t immediately transplanted are carefully placed in a holding solution which is typically consisting of saline solution. Alternative tissue holding solutions may include nutrients, buffers and antioxidants (ATP solution); or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) containing growth factors and wound healing properties. These holding solutions are used to prevent desiccation/dehydration of follicular units which aren’t immediately implanted into balding areas of the scalp.
Hairline Designing & Creation:
Age, facial characteristics, facial symmetry & style are parameters that are carefully assessed during the hairline design. Single follicular units are placed at the recipients sites of the hairline, in order to mimic natural hair growth.
Specific skills and aesthetic perception are therefore required by the doctor for the design and creation of the hairline, in order to mimic the patient΄s natural profile.
Restored hair will grow in the same fashion as one’s native hair. Approximately three months after the procedure new hair begins to grow. In around six months, a patient should notice significant re-growth. The patient’s hair (native and transplanted) will continue to grow naturally and final results are usually noticeable 12-15 months after the procedure.
ADVANTAGES OVER FUT
Unlike Strip method, FUE doesn’t cause stretching of the skin in the donor area while suturing the wound. It is better for the excision of white hairs. It is ideal for tight scalp due to past surgery or fibrous skin where FUT surgery can cause donor area problems. FUE grafts are usually less bulky compared to FUT or strip grafts and therefore they require smaller size incisions for plantation resulting in less trauma. Thus no linear scarring, no scalpel and no stitches.
Because of the intricate nature of the procedure it is more expensive compared to strip method. Usually the donor area needs to be shaved, which at times is a limitation for some people.
Can sport short hair
The procedure is less traumatic and minimally invasive.
Natural-looking and permanent results
Minimal post-operative recovery time, many patients return to work the next day
Microscopic scars in donor area are almost invisible
No need for stitch removal
Can use body hair for added density with this technique only
Can cover pre-existing scar of strip surgery with FUE
Donor area in majority of all cases must be shaved.
For patients with advanced stages of hair loss multiple sessions may be required to achieve larger graft numbers
A drawback of FUE has been that one-by-one harvest of FUs may produce less number of grafts obtained by strip harvesting.
Because of the time spent, the procedure is more costly than strip surgery.
Donor Area Healing
The tiny incisions left behind after excision of the follicular units heal completely in a few days. The tiny apertures contract as they heal, making the resulting round incision marks barely detectable. No stitches or other closures are necessary.
The Aesthetic Beauty Centre is one of the few clinics in the North East of England to offer FUE hair transplant. Dr Ashish Dutta of the Aesthetic Beauty Centre is one of the first few surgeons in the country performing the FUE treatment since 2009. Dr Dutta already has extensive experience in strip surgery since 2001 and is now able to offer the more advanced (FUE) treatment, which extracts directly from the scalp eliminating any need for stitching. The FUE hair transplant can be performed in sessions of up to 500-2500 grafts until the desired density is achieved.
Following treatment, most patients are able to return to work after 7-10 days provided the post-operative instructions are followed. FUE prices start from £2,000.
We perform these treatments in both our Newcastle and Harley Street clinics. At our clinics, we are here to help you throughout the process from start to finish. Our support doesn’t end after the treatment, we will be there to support you throughout your recovery.
Read frequently asked questions about hair transplant here
Qualified doctors will discuss the procedure before any treatment, explaining any possible side effects.