The FUE technique born out the basic idea of avoiding harvesting of “strip” from donor area.
Under this procedure, follicular units are extracted individually, without the need for a linear incision, using a micro-surgery tool designed specifically for extracting one follicular unit at a time.
The follicular units are then processed under stereoscopic microscopes, and finally transplanted to the receiving area using Gardel Transplant Techniques.
F.U.E. offers the advantage of leaving NO visible scars, since there are no cuts and no strips removed, only tiny circles excised by the surgeon, which will fade quickly after healing.
*NOTE: Not all people heal the same, and sometimes, due to genetic traits, undesirable scars may form, even when the surgical procedure is perfectly performed.
In this close-up we can clearly appreciate the distance between each circle excised by the surgeon. As you can see, neighboring hairs will completely cover the area, making any potential mark virtually undetectable.
This technique is recommended for patients who want no visible scar whatsoever, but do NOT need large amounts of hair, since the most that can be transplanted is 2,000 follicular units per session. Should you desire more follicular roots, a second – or even a third – session may be necessary. Additionally, since this procedure takes longer to perform, please keep in mind that this technique can be much more expensive.
Recovery is extremely fast; within 10 days the patient will be able to do aerobic and anaerobic exercise (this time period is solely to allow the transplanted follicles to take hold in the receiving area).
The scar in the donor area will quickly be covered by the surrounding hair, and although there will be a mark left, it will not be visible unless the area is completely shaven.
Before the surgery
After the surgery
6 days after surgery
15 days after surgery
1. Since this is a “blind” technique, it is possible when introducing the instrument to extract each follicular unit individually to cause loss and/or transaction inside the follicle, resulting in risk of a follicle being involuntarily traumatized and lost definitively.
2. There is the potential for tearing the centers that germinate hair growth during the follicular extraction process with the special tweezers.
3. Loss of hair after graft has been placed due to damage to the dermal papilla (these are located within the hair bulb and their function is to nourish the hair)
4. Necrosis in donor area due to large quantities of F.U.E. extraction. This information was discussed at a recent ISHRS meeting in Montreal on September, 2008.
5. Due to all the potential complications mentioned above, follicular units that could have been used in future hair transplants may be wasted.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The fundamental benefit of the FUE technique lies only in the donor area. Instead of showing a linear hidden scar, it leves a series of small and imperceptible dots. These are not visible unless the head is shaved.
- Ideal technique for first timers where only 10 to 4000 hairs are needed.
- With the FUE technique, hair can be obtained from other parts of the body (chest, back), this is useful when previous transplants have been made and the donor area has been exhausted with the same technique, body hair does not have the same behavior as head hair.
- Intensive surgical time required and sometimes more than one day or more than one transplant sessions are required to finish a transplant.
- Less hair graft survival rate, from 10 to 15% of the obtained grafts are lost.
- Costlier, usually about double the price of the FUSS technique.
- More difficult to obtain hair in the following sessions.