What Is The FUE Hair Transplant?
Hair transplantation has first started in the 1950s with the Punch Hair Transplant technique by Dr. Orentreich. Years after the introduction of the first hair transplant method by Dr. Orentreich, the Follicular Unit Hair Transplant ( FUT ) emerged in the 1990s, followed by the latest hair transplant method, Follicular Unit Extraction ( FUE ). First developed in the early 2000s, FUE hair transplant is considered to be modern and more advanced than the FUT method as it needs no cuts and leaves no scars.
During the FUE method, your doctor will collect grafts one by one with no cuts but only small incisions, whereas, during the FUT method, your surgeon will cut a strip from your scalp skin, and then will collect the grafts on the side. So the FUE method is less invasive and allows for fast healing after the hair implantation. As the procedure will be carried out under local anesthetic, you will feel no pain whatsoever. Since its introduction in the 2000s, the FUE hair transplant method has become even more sophisticated, with various high-level graft extraction and implantation techniques.
FUE Hair Transplant Procedure
FUE hair transplant is generally used for hair transplants on the scalp. However, it can be performed in other areas of the body where there is a lack of hair. This procedure will be carried out in three main steps, as in the FUT method. Your doctor will technically begin the procedure by collecting hair grafts from the donor area, then open channels in the recipient area, and lastly harvest the grafts into the bald areas. Your doctor may also make use of additional treatment such as PRP to nourish hair follicles. Here’s how your doctor will conduct the procedure:
- Your surgeon will first plan the procedure and then prepare you for the hair transplant. They will draw your hairline and then shave the donor area to easily take the grafts out. They may also shave the recipient area where the hair follicles will be harvested.
- Next, they will numb the donor area with a local anesthetic so you will feel no pain during the whole procedure.
- The hair follicles extracted from the donor area will be kept in a special solution as your doctor will open channels in the recipient area. Channels will be the places your hair follicles will be implanted into so they will be the same number as the collected grafts.
- Lastly, your doctor will implant the grafts into the channels. And then they will clean and bandage the area.
Advantages Of FUE Hair Transplant
FUE hair transplant method provides advantages for both surgeon and the patient. This is why the FUT method was easily replaced it by most surgeons when it was first developed. Here are some benefits and advantages of FUE hair transplant:
- It does not need a lot of manpower and your doctor can perform the procedure with one or two assistants.
- It will cause less trauma and there will be no scars right after the procedure.
- Your doctor will not as much equipment as they will need with FUT.
- Post-operative recovery time will be minimum.
- Your new hair will look quite natural.
- As it is minimally invasive, you will feel minimal pain during and following the procedure.
- FUE hair transplantation offers a permanent solution for both light and severe baldness.
- Graft yield is as high as 98%, which makes quite a successful hair transplant procedure.
- There will be no visible scars and traces of a medical operation in the donor and recipient areas within two weeks after the hair transplant procedure.
Risks And Disadvantages Of FUE Hair Transplant
FUE hair transplant method offers many advantages and ease of operation; however, it still has some risks and disadvantages, despite all the benefits it provides. Here are possible risks and disadvantages of FUE hair transplant:
- The procedure needs the surgeon’s patients, skill, and energy as they will collect the grafts one by one.
- An inexperienced surgeon will have to put quite a lot of effort to ace this new technique to collect grafts.
- The transection rate is higher which is the main disadvantage is the procedure. Transaction rate is the rate of hair impairment, which may cause the hair follicles to stop growing.
- The procedure is as three times costly as the FUT method, as only one case can be performed a day.
- As the procedure will last long, the patient may get tired.
- As is the case with all medical procedures, there is a small risk of infection. But you should note that the risk of infection is less than the FUT method as there will be no cuts in the donor area.
- There may be pain, drainage, bleeding, and edema in the surgery site but still, the risk is low.
- Balding may continue after the hair transplant procedure but this usually has nothing to do with the procedure itself. If you still have the diseases or problems causing hair loss, the balding may continue.
How To Prepare For FUE Hair Transplant
You need to follow your doctor’s instructions before the procedure to avoid any risks and complications. Here are the things you should do before FUE hair transplant:
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol at least a week before the procedure
- Do not get your cut before the procedure.
- Do not take antidepressants for about 1 week before the procedure.
- Do not take blood thinners for about 1 week before the surgery
- Do not take any medications which your doctor does not know about.
- Stop taking vitamins, and supplements for about 1 week before the surgery.
- Stop drinking herbal teas for about 1 week before the surgery.
What To Expect After The FUE Hair Transplant Procedure
Your doctor will give you instructions about what to do after the hair transplant procedure and how to care for your hair scalp.
- Don’t comb your hair for at least 3 weeks.
- Do not wash your hair for 3 days after the surgery.
- Do not smoke and drink alcohol for about 1 week after the procedure.
- Keep your head away from the sun until it completely heals.
- Don’t wear a hat or any other things that touch your head until your doctor says you can.
FUE Hair Transplant Before After Photos
Here are FUE hair transplant before after photos and examples.