FUE hair transplantation is the most advanced hair transplant to treat baldness and alopecia in men and women.
What is a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is an operation that redistributes hair follicles from a donor area to an area that is bald. Today's technology takes advantage of microsurgery techniques to give a very natural look to the hair. An outcome that meets the expectations of those who undergo the transplant depends very much on the quality of the follicles to be transferred and the extent of the area that the patient wants to cover with the transplanted hair.
Hair follicles are generally transplanted using one of these two techniques:
- Follicular Unit Translplantion (FUT): hair units are removed from a strip of scalp taken from a donor area.
- Follicular unit extraction (FUE): individual hair units are removed directly from the donor area, follicle by follicle, and transplanted into areas where there is thinning.
What is FUE transplantation?
FUE is the abbreviation of "follicular unit extraction". The FUE technique is the individual removal of hair follicles and therefore the corresponding strands. FUE makes it possible to transplant individual hair follicles without a scalpel and without the need for stitches. The hair is chosen from a donor area, e.g. the back of the head (nape) or temples, and extracted under local anaesthesia. The grafts are then removed one by one. The surgeon makes millimetric incisions in the receiving area and determines the thickness and direction of the new hair. The grafts are then inserted, again under local anesthesia.
What is FUE?
The latest generation FUE uses an advanced robotic system that performs all of the hair restoration procedures. The device is used to make a small circular incision in the skin around the follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue. This procedure can take 1 or more hours and in more complex cases even several days. Wounds heal completely in 7–10 days, leaving small scars hidden by hair on the back and sides of the scalp.
This method of taking follicles, by removing individual follicular units directly from the scalp, is what differentiates FUE from a traditional FUT follicular unit transplant (the hair follicles that are taken from the scalp are all on a strip of skin from which the follicular units are selected under a microscope).
The "receiving sites" consist of incisions, which are made in the bald area of the scalp with a fine-point needle instrument. The follicular units are then placed in the receiving sites where the follicles will grow. The creation of receiving sites and the insertion of follicular unit grafts are essentially the same in both FUE and FUT procedures.
The difference between the two methods lies in the quantity and quality of the grafts obtained.
When is FUE recommended?
- Scars: no scalpel or stitches are used, so the risk of visible scars is minimised
- Donor areas: also allows the surgeon to potentially remove hair from different parts of the body such as the beard or torso, although there are many limitations to this process.
- Healing: the patient can resume any physical activity without restrictions after one week, for example athletes.
- Grafts: the doctor can precisely determine the number of grafts that are needed and transplant exactly the desired number for the receiving area.
How long does an FUE hair transplant last?
Most patients keep their new hair for the rest of their lives. From time to time, a percentage of transplanted hair can be lost in old age.
How much does FUE treatment cost?
The cost depends on the type of treatment and the size of the area treated, and can vary considerably.
Is there a risk of infection after an FUE hair transplant?
An infection with a hair transplant is rare. If it should occur, it is usually treated with antibiotics which can be prescribed by your doctor.
How much hair is needed to cover a certain area?
It is impossible to predict, as the number of hairs needed depends on the structure and quality of the hair.
Can hair transplants also help women?
Female hair loss is quite common, but studies show that only women with baldness similar to that of men, and who have a donor area, can have a hair transplant.
Hair loss is different from individual to individual.
Taking this factor into account, the pros and cons of an FUE transplant should be considered when deciding which procedure is the most suitable on an individual basis.