Although there are a number of different hair transplantation methods that are commonly used today, our method of choice is the Follicular Unit Extraction technique. Commonly referred to as FUE, the Follicular Unit Extraction method of hair removal involves harvesting individual hairs from healthy, hairy areas of the scalp and/or body in order to transplant the individual hairs into the target (thinning or balding) area.
The retrieval portion of the FUE procedure is completed with a tiny instrument called a punch tool. Through the use of this method, no surgical incisions are needed and therefore, no stitches or sutures will be required. The punch tool used in harvesting the healthy hair follicles leaves an extremely small excision point which will not require stitches to heal. Additionally, the retrieval portion of an FUE restoration rarely leaves significant scars. Any small, circular scarring that is left by the surgical tools will be unnoticeable to others, as it will be covered by the patient’s remaining hair.
The FUE method allows us to gather donor hairs from quite a large area of the scalp as opposed to traditional hair transplant surgery methods. This means we will have access to a significant number of hair grafts to transfer to the target area of the scalp (the area that is experiencing hair loss). After we have harvested enough good hairs from all healthy areas of the scalp, they will then be individually grafted onto the balding area.
There is very little pain involved during an FUE hair transplantation surgery. By harvesting hairs individually, we eliminate the need to surgically remove a large section of scalp, which is how hairs are harvested using other methods. Because of this, patients experience much lower pain levels both during and after their hair restoration procedure.
Local anesthetic will be administered to the removal site as well as the target area so that the patient will be comfortable and able to relax while their hair transplant is taking place. Even after the procedure, our FUE patients have very low pain levels. However, there is likely to be some discomfort after the procedure, and we always provide patients with effective pain medication options.
As there is no large incision involved in a Follicular Unit Extraction procedure, patients usually experience a very fast recovery and complication-free healing. This makes it possible for our busy patients to get right back to their jobs and families in a very timely fashion. Most of our FUE patients usually only require several days of modified activity following their surgery.
Although traditional methods (like the strip method) may be faster to perform, we definitely prefer to use the FUE hair transplant method because of all of the benefits mentioned above. We also find that there are many people with quite tight scalp skin, which would be very difficult to suture closed, and would require many additional days or weeks to heal. We also use the FUE method in order to provide patients with eyebrow transplants or facial hair restorations.