FUE is now a long-established hair transplant technique. But over time there has been a growing tendency to dumb down the fact FUE is a surgical procedure. Not by all, but it has increased. Follicular Unit Extraction is a surgical procedure. That requires strict protocols to ensure the best result. It is not a miracle hair transplant. The best result means good hair growth. As well as a well-preserved donor area.
The debate has attracted interest from well-known and respected individuals associated with hair loss and hair restoration.
Three random quotes from three websites just pulled off a search engine
- “The hairline is natural-looking (no linear scar).”
- “FUE –Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a NO Stitch, NO Scar technique”
- “FUE is a minimally invasive procedure that leaves almost no scarring.”
The problem with these quotes?
- There is no correlation between the hairline looking natural and not having a linear scar.
- It maybe no stitch but it is not a “no scar technique”.
- “almost no scarring” is incorrect, every punch made will leave a scar.
FUE uses a cylindrical instrument punch tool. The punch surrounds the outside of a follicular unit (FU). It´s then extracted with forceps. As a result, leaves a small open wound. The wound heals superficially with a scab. Similar to any cut on the body. Part of the natural healing process. Over time the wounds heal. The skin pigment settles. This can vary depending on the skills of the Doctor. As well as natural skin healing characteristics.
A scar is a mark left on the skin after a wound has healed. Every wound will leave a scar. Every punch will leave a scar.
How visible will the scarring be?
Hair length can hide any scarring. The shorter the hairstyle the more likely the scarring will be visible.
1500 grafts can be spread around the donor. From side to side of the head. Using an educated pattern of extraction will ensure only a small change to the hair density. Double the extraction, 3000 FU. The pattern becomes tighter and harder to manage. To not remove too many and over-harvest areas.
By spreading the numbers over multiple procedures cares for the scalp better. Improves the number of grafts available over time. As well as making it easier to respect a harvesting pattern. To not remove too many in any specific area.
How many grafts is too many?
One of the largest issues with FUE is how many grafts can be removed. Partly because extraction is slow. And, partly because each punch mark has to be separated from the others. Compared to FUT when all the hair follicles are removed intact. Also from a high hair density zone.
With FUE the skin surface area does not change. But the hair density in the donor zone does. Basically, the more that is taken the less is left.
The trick is to create a random but thought out extraction pattern. Large FUE sessions, like 4000 grafts. This puts great pressure to spread the punches. Not to take adjacent hair units. Importantly to leave a random pattern. It´s not wise to take a larger number from an area with a high hair density. Once healed there is an obvious demarcation line between the area harvested and the virgin scalp area.
For more information on FUE hair transplant. Donor management or hair restoration in general. Request more information.