While there are many people who enjoy a life blessed with a full head of hair there are others who suffer from hair loss at some point in time. There are various transplant methods to help restore hair to that are experiencing hair loss. One of the most popular methods known is a FUE transplant.
FUE is short for Follicular Unit Extraction. Basically, FUE is when the hair is taken directly from the back of the head in one-hair grouping at a time.
FUE has a number of advantages over a FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) procedure. One of the main advantages is the lack of a large linear scar. If you slowly take the hair out one grouping at a time, almost one hair at a time, you will end up with a small scar the size of the tip of a ball point pen, about a millimeter in size, which will avoid creating a large scar on the scalp. Another big advantage is that there is no significant pain after the surgery.
Simply put, the best candidates are the people who want to do it. Most patients have genetic balding that causes the hair loss in the first place They will need a sufficient amount of donor hair available for the procedure to be successful with healthy hair around the back and sides of the head.
Just like with any surgery, be sure stop taking aspirin before the surgery and let your doctor know if you have any medical problems and what medications you take. At the beginning of the surgery, we give a medication that puts most people to sleep and a local anesthetic numbs the entire head for about six after the procedure ends.
The only real limitation is you will have to shave the areas where the grafts are coming from. The hair grows back quickly. People normally get a short haircut that allows them to look normal after about a week.
Since you are using hair from the back (donor area) of your head, the hair should live as long as you are alive. Many patients go back to work in a week. They have a short hair cut on the back and they are ready to resume their lives, even run a marathon or do their daily workout at the gym.
Patients rarely report any pain with the FUE and there is no linear scar, as often occurs after a typical older technique. That is good news for people worried about the line scar. Not having a linear scar on the back of your head makes it very attractive to men who want to cut their hair very, very short.
Everyone’s cost is different so there is no set cost. However, to give you an example, a FUE transplant for somebody who is bald in the first 2 inches of his or her head, the cost will be around $9,000 to $10,000. That cost covers the first 3 inches of the front of the head maybe higher. It also depends upon the type of hair you have as people with coarser hair often require less work and thereby they experience less costs.
There are two types of FUE procedures. One is the manual technique and the other is a robot procedure. You can choose to have it done manually or robotically. One is really not more beneficial than the other. The one advantage of having a robotic hair transplant procedure is when you do not know your doctor very well and you are not 100% certain of your doctor’s skills, then the robotic method might be better than having the doctor do it manually. You also might be able to start with the robot procedure and then do some manual work on top of that. Either way, the procedure can take anywhere from 3-8 hours.
No matter which FUE transplant method you decide to use, it is recommended that people under 25 years of age wait to have a FUE procedure. Men under 25 years old are likely to be early in the balding process. Their rate of balding can still accelerate so the final pattern of their hairline can still be unknown. Whether you are under 25 years old, or even much older, you should schedule an individual assessment with your doctor before making a final decision. Sometimes, medication alone will reverse the hair loss.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA
Based on an exclusive interview with William Rassman, MD in Los Angeles, CA