Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a hair transplant technique in which follicular units are removed directly from the donor area. The grafts are then transplanted into areas where the patient desires more hair to create a natural looking hair line and/or add density to areas of thinning.
Follicular Unit Extraction is different from the traditional FUT hair replacement procedures in one key way: follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp in FUE whereas follicles are microscopically dissected from a strip that has already been removed in FUT.
How Follicular Unit Extraction is Performed
During the Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE hair transplant procedure, individual follicular unit grafts are excised one at a time using a tiny one millimeter in diameter (or less) instrument. The device is used to make a small circular incision in the skin around the follicular unit. The graft is then extracted directly from the scalp.
Typically the patient’s hair in the donor area where these grafts are being removed is clipped, cut short or almost shaved so that the physician is able to optimally visualize the patient’s scalp.
The small opening left behind after the follicle unit is extracted heals in a few days. The tiny aperture contracts as it heals, making the resulting round scar less noticeable. The FUE patient typically ends up with many small light colored scars, which are normally not detectable to the naked eye once the patient’s hair grows out.
Best Candidates for Follicular Unit Extraction
The best candidates for FUE hair transplant procedure include:
Patients interested in a smaller size procedure (typically up to 1,000 grafts).
Patients with a limited donor supply.
Patients with limited scalp elasticity.
Patient who have had several FUT procedures and subsequently have a limited donor supply or limited scalp elasticity.
Patients who have a need or desire to wear their hair exceptionally short.