Learn Details on how FUE Hair Restoration Works

Posted August 28, 2019
Get the Procedure Details on how FUE Hair Restoration Works

One of the most popular hair restoration techniques is FUE hair transplant. FUE, also known as Follicular Unit Extraction, is a hair transplant technique where the surgeon moves units of one to four hairs from an area on the scalp that has better hair quality to a section of the scalp that is lacking in hair. FUE is less invasive than the more traditional Strip method (Follicular Unit Transplantation) that requires the removal of a linear strip of skin.

Interested in learning more about how FUE hair restoration works? Take a look below for details on how FUE hair restoration is performed.

FUE Hair Restoration Procedure Details

The surgeon uses a special punch instrument, about 1mm in diameter, to create a tiny circular incision around the targeted follicular unit in order to isolate the graft for removal. Follicular units are then removed from the donor area. The grafts are counted and sorted by the medical team using stereo microscopes/

The surgeon will also create small incision in the area of the scalp where the hair grafts will be inserted. The surgical team then places the grafts, one at a time, in the scalp. The grafts are placed in the direction that the hair naturally grows. The grafts can be placed using forceps or implanters.

It should be noted that the FUE grafts can be removed manually by the surgeon and his team or by Robotic FUE (ARTAS) which uses computer assistance to identify and harvest the hair follicles. The surgeon places a tensioner over the donor area so the skin will remain stable during the harvesting process. The ARTAS system uses cameras to obtain images of the follicular units so they can be harvested on an individual basis by the robot arm. The surgeon still controls the robot arm so any necessary changes during the harvesting process can be made by the doctor.

FUE Candidates and Costs

Ideal candidates for FUE hair restoration include:

  • Patients with typical patterned baldness
  • Patients with minimal scalp laxity and a small donor area
  • Patients that like to keep their hair short or shaved since the procedure only results in invisible dot size scars
  • Patients that want to hair restoration in their eyebrows or mustache
  • Patients that need to use hair from other areas of the body for their hair restoration

The ideal candidates listed above can expect to pay per graft for their hair restoration procedure. The number of grafts needed to perform FUE hair restoration depends on the amount of balding area on the patient as well as the desired hair density. The number of hair grafts needed is determined during a consultation appointment between the patient and the doctor. Other factors that go into the final cost of FUE hair restoration include the area of the country where the procedure is performed and any additional fees charged by the doctor or the facility. In general, the cost of FUE hair restoration is $5000-$25,000 with a per graft cost in the range of $6-$18 per graft.

FUE Hair Restoration, Recovery, Results and Risks

At the start of the recovery process, swelling is not uncommon and it is mostly limited to the forehead and around the eyes. Patients should sleep with their head propped up on several pillows for the first few days. Scabbing will also been seen be visible for the 4-5 days before the patient is able to wash the hair more aggressively. In general, patients can return to work anywhere from 1-5 days after surgery.

Patients might experience some shock loss after FUE hair restoration during the recovery process. Shock loss is the loss of existing hair in the recipient area. Patients should not be worried by this hair loss after surgery as the new transplanted hair will start to grow and restore the appearance of hair in the areas where the shock loss occurred.

The results of FUE hair restoration take some time to become noticeable. The growth of the new hair begins around 2-3 months after the procedure. Most patients can expect to see the majority of the results within 6-9 months but some patients will not see the final results until a year after the surgery. Once the final results are visible, they are permanent and should last a lifetime.

Some of the most common risks of FUE hair restoration include:

  • Itchiness in the recipient or donor area
  • Bleeding and/or swelling around the eyes and in the forehead
  • Numbness in the treated area
  • Shock loss
  • Folliculitis AKA pimple like lesions in the treated area if the hair follicles become inflamed

FUE Hair Restoration Consultation

FUE hair restoration can provide the desired hair density and fullness that patients have been lacking as they grow older. Anyone interested in undergoing a FUE hair restoration procedure should schedule a consultation with a board-certified surgeon experienced in performing FUE hair transplant surgery on a regular basis. The surgeon will examine the patient to determine the cause of the hair loss. In addition, the surgeon can set realistic expectations so the patient will not be surprised or disappointed by the final results.



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