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Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Hair transplantation is essentially a two-part procedure.

Hair is first harvested from the back  part of the head, where hair is generally resistant to male pattern baldness. The second part entails hair such hair being transplanted into the balding areas.

The two most typical methods of hair transplantation are Follicular Unit Extraction(FUE) and Follicular Unit Grafting(FUG). These two techniques differ in the harvesting portion of the transplant while the placing remains the same. What’s different about FUE is that it uses a relatively new method of extracting donor hairs.

While the most popular method of hair extraction, Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG) excises thin strips of hair from the donor region and then dissects these strips into individual grafts, FUE extracts these individual grafts individually.

Using a very small “punch like” instrument, the Dr. Halaas makes a tiny incision around each follicular unit consisting of one, two, three, or four hairs. While FUG leaves long, thin scars that are difficult to detect, even on close inspection, FUE leaves only miniscule marks that are usually undetectable. With FUE, there is minimal down time, no sutures and no bandages.

The FUE procedure has some very specific advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other leading method, Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG). It produces no visible scars—a very important consideration for men who wear their hair very close cut. However, if multiple FUE procedures are performed on one  individual area there can be an overall thinning appearance in the donor area. Also, because the FUE procedure is minimally invasive with no large incisions or sutures, recovery is faster than with FUG.

There are, however, some downsides to FUE as well. Mainly, because of the precise nature of the individual method of hair transplantation, fewer hairs can be transplanted in a single session. If your hair restoration requires a very high number of grafts, you might require multiple sessions of FUE than you might if you chose the FUG method. Another thing to consider when deciding between the two is the time-consuming, labor-intensive process of FUE can be significantly more expensive than FUG.

As a final and important consideration, you should be aware that not all patients are candidates for FUE. It can be very difficult to remove unharmed follicular units from certain patient’s scalps and as a results, a greater portion of these grafts may not be intact  as opposed to being removed using FUG. At the beginning of each FUE procedure a small sample of extractions, a “test procedure”, is attempted to determine if the patient is a good candidate for this type of procedure.

To determine which method might be best for you, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Halaas.  She will evaluate your hair loss, discuss your goals, and help you weigh the risks and benefits of your many options.

See FUE Hair Transplant Photos