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FUE (follicular unit extraction): No Scar?

Posted by Imagine Clinic for Hair on January 24, 2011

Many patients ask me about follicular unit extraction, or (FUE).  This procedure is also known in the Northeast United States as Individual Graft Technique (IGT).  The FUE procedure is most appropriate for those patients who have undergone multiple strip method hair replacement procedures and for those who prefer a less invasive method for hair transplantation.  For the right candidate, an FUE procedure can provide good results with outcomes equal to that of a traditional strip method procedure.   To begin with, let’s explore what Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is and what it looks like.

Simply stated, Follicular Unit Extraction is an improved modification of the old plug removal hair restoration method.  Typically, a large area on the back of the head is shaved and a motorized punch drill is used to remove the smaller pieces of tissue. The FUE procedure takes longer than other hair transplantation methods because of the meticulous work that is involved in the extraction and placement of the hair follicles. Most facilities that perform FUE can handle no more than 800 grafts per session, and multiple sessions may be required to restore large areas of hair loss. By comparison, the traditional strip method transplant can result in as many as 3500 grafts per session.  

Often referred to as the “scarless” or “surgeryless” hair transplant procedure, FUE results in fast recovery times, no stitches, and less discomfort after procedure than traditional surgery methods. That being said, FUE is not for everyone. It is important to consult with a skilled physician who is experienced and knowledgeable about the pros and cons of both traditional and FUE procedures. If you are interested in undergoing FUE, please contact me for a free consultation to discuss whether FUE is the right procedure for you. 

Because the extraction process during FUE is elaborate and labor intensive, you should expect to pay more for this procedure than for traditional methods.  The extraction process due to the meticulous and time consuming nature of the work is usually not performed by the physician and is typically delegated to the technicians in many facilities and hair restoration clinics. This practice is currently being reviewed for whether it complies as the standard of care in some states.  Hair transplantation is both an art and a science. Be assured that I personally perform all extractions for my patients undergoing FUE at Imagine Clinic.  Ask questions if seeking consultations about an FUE procedure and insist on physician performed extraction. 

Below: What we do NOT do (for obvious reasons)

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One Response to “FUE (follicular unit extraction): No Scar?”

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