Follicular Unit Extraction first hit the scene about 1988, in New York City. Its main purpose was to give hair transplant patients more effective, satisfying results than the traditional follicular unit transplant method. A major advantage FUE maintains over FUT is that donor extraction is individual, rather than in groups. Excising follicular units individually results in less visible scarring for the patient. Recovery time is also shorter—about 5 to 7 days, compared to 10 days to 2 weeks for FUT patients. For these two reasons alone, most hair transplant recipients keep their fingers crossed for their doctor to recommend FUE. But what, exactly, does the whole process entail? Today, with the help of a San Francisco hair transplant doctor, Parsa Mohebi, we intend to answer that question.
At your initial consultation, we’ll ask a few questions of our own. These would likely include things about:
Your family history of hair loss
Your expectations regarding the surgery
Any medications you may be using
Negative lifestyle accompaniments, such as stress, sleep deprivation, diet, etc.
You’ll then receive a microscopic scalp exam that gives the doctor a good idea about how much further your hair loss is likely to progress and show what donor areas will be healthiest to extract from. After this comes the recommendation. If the doctor believes FUE makes for a good plan, a surgery date will be scheduled.
The Steps Of An Fue Procedure
We start things off by designing a hairline that most closely resembles the one you once had and best suits your expectations. If the hairline is still intact, the design we create will strengthen its appearance.
Next, local anesthesia is applied to both the donor and recipient areas of the scalp. This reduces the amount of pain felt during the procedure to near undetectable levels.
What follows is a part of the process we call Site Making. This is where we make a series of small incisions within the recipient area, into which the donor hairs will eventually be placed. How long Site Making takes largely depends on how much donor hair is needed. To speed things along, we may employ a technique called Serial Extraction and Placement. This method was developed by Dr. Parsa Mohebi to implant follicular units as soon as they are extracted. A surgical team works together on Site Making and extraction simultaneously.
During the extraction session, grafts are removed from the donor area, counted, and prepared for implantation. The number of grafts we score normally doubles into the number of hairs. Or in other words, 2,000 grafts for FUE (the maximum daily amount for this procedure) would equal about 4,000 donor hairs for the patient.
After excision, the follicular units are implanted into the recipient area. The aim here is to reproduce the patient’s natural hairstyle with as much accuracy as possible.
On Which Patients Does Fue Work Best?
FUE’s most common patient is the man with male pattern hair loss. This, by no means, limits the procedure to him. Women can also suffer from androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss), and they, too, make good candidates to receive FUE. FUE can also treat patients with strip scarring from previous surgery or patients who lack facial hair.
FUE has different approach methods that are subject to change on a patient to patient basis. Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration utilizes a number of these methods, such as:
The ARTAS robotic arm method
The chasing method
Extraction occurs almost immediately after the grafts are scored, greatly reducing their out of body time.
Simultaneous FUE Extraction and Placement
Implantation begins less than an hour after their removal from the donor area.
Preparation And Recovery
Please avoid using aspirin or any pain reliever with blood thinners two days before the procedure. Blood thinners can make healing time for both the donor and recipient area take longer than usual. We also recommend that you stop smoking two days before FUE surgery. On the day of surgery, do a normal hair wash before coming to the clinic.
Over the first five days after surgery, some redness and swelling are normal. This is normally gone or almost gone after one week. Any scabs that appear can be washed off after six days. You should start noticing new hair growth at around the 2 to 3-month point. This is the most exciting part of the whole process—and a precursor for even better things to come. And the better things will indeed arrive about one year after surgery. By now, the hair regrowth process is complete, and your baldness is a thing of the past.
FUE is among the more modern takes on the ever-expanding science of hair transplant surgery. For more information on how it can benefit you or someone you know with thinning hair, contact Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration today.