Are FUE Hair Transplants Right for Me?

Those who are struggling with hair loss, may wonder if a FUE hair transplant may prove successful in recovering from balding of the scalp. FUE stands for follicular unit extraction, and is a minimally invasive procedure. A person may have tried all kinds of treatments in hopes of regrowing hair in bald spots, with little to no success. Before signing up for such a procedure, patients may have several questions about the process to ensure this is the right choice for them. 

Q: How exactly does FUE transplants work?

A: Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is when a doctor removes a group of hair follicles individually through an automated or manual method. Hair is often harvested from a healthy growth area on the patient’s scalp, and is planted into the balding sites. Prior to excavating the hair follicles, numbing medicine is administered to prevent the patient from experiencing discomfort. Usually, a group of up to four hairs are gathered from the donor area at a time. The method in which these hairs are obtained depends on if the hair is curly, sharply angled, or has deep hair shafts.

Q: What are the pros and cons to FUE transplants?

A: As with any procedure, there are potential pros and cons. Some advantages of a follicular unit extraction (FUE) transplant, is that there is very minimal discomfort during recovery. The healing process is often quick, and a person can go back to work within a few days to a week after. If any surgical marks are noticeable, they typically only require a couple days to heal completely. Additionally, extracting the hair from more dense areas of the patient’s scalp and transplanting to the problem areas allows for a more even distribution of hair. 

The possible cons of FUE transplants is that the procedure is limited to how many follicles can be harvested in one day. For some patients, two procedure sessions over a 48 hour period may be needed to finish. Unfortunately, many inexperienced doctors may claim they have the knowledge to perform FUE transplants. It is important to thoroughly research a doctor beforehand, as pain and complications can arise if the procedure is not done correctly.

Q: Does FUE transplants leave behind scars?

A: By removing the hair follicles individually, they can be harvested without causing significant scalp scarring. There may be very tiny marks right after the procedure where the hair was removed. But, after a few days these wounds will close and scabs will heal up within the first week or so. Once the harvested sites have healed, it can be difficult to spot where the follicles were taken out. 

Q: Who are the most ideal candidates for FUE transplants?

A: FUE tends to be a good option for patients who like to wear their hair in a shorter style, as this procedure does not cause linear scarring. To harvest the hair follicles, an entire strip of scalp does not need to be removed. This can make it the preferred choice for those who have a small donor area or tight scalp. 

 

Resources:

Wikipedia, Hair Treatment

Dr. Robin Unger, MD, Hair Transplant Surgeon Manhattan

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