Taking Transplantation to the Next Level with FUE
Table of Contents
Over the years, there have been many methods used to try and transplant hair. As far back as 1897, doctors used hair grafts to cover scars on the scalp, and in 1930s Japan, surgical hair transplantation using grafts larger than today’s follicular transplants were performed to repair damaged eyebrows and lashes. While these procedures were successful, follicular transplants to treat male pattern baldness weren’t used in North America until the 1950s.
Early follicular transplants were up to four millimeters wide (what were commonly referred to as hair plugs), which gave the patient an unnatural, “doll-like” appearance. But the continued evolution of extraction and extraction devices has refined the procedure into a minimally invasive treatment offering natural looking results.
What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is one of the most common methods used to harvest follicular units for grafting. Follicular units are made up of between one to four hairs that are naturally grouped together, and during the FUE procedure, these individual units are taken one at a time from the donor area on the scalp.
Because a precision tool is used to remove the follicular units, there is no need for stitches and usually no visible scarring. Unlike previous hair transplants, the tools used now only extract tiny sections of hair from the donor area – typically only one millimeter or less. At Arocha Hair Restoration, we use .7 mm punch for manual FUE, which yields a micro-scar so small that it is not visible to the naked eye. Once the follicular units have been isolated and the incision made, the extracted hair is inspected closely and prepared for placement, utilizing only the healthiest, most optimal hairs.
The follicular units are then transplanted into the area of thinning hair, arranged in groups of one to four hairs, depending on where the graft is being placed and how many hairs are in each follicular unit. Based on the size of the area receiving the grafts, the procedure can be tedious and a bit long, but advancements in the tools used for transplantation allows surgeons to remove nearly triple the amount of follicles in one session than before.
Advantages, Results, and Recovery
There are a number of advantages to the FUE technique. The entire process is minimally invasive and virtually painless. You should experience little to no discomfort post-procedure, and there is no real downtime required for recovery. The absence of visible scarring makes it easy for you to return to wearing your hair as short as you’d like, and because the incisions are so small, the donor areas on your scalp will heal quickly and look back to normal in just a couple of days. Activities are also not restricted – you can even go back to swimming within about seven days of the procedure. Dr. Arocha will advise you as to how to care for both the donor area and transplant area after your procedure, so that you can enjoy the best possible results.
The results of your hair transplant using the FUE technique are permanent, though you may require further treatment later. Your existing hair will continue to fall out as you age, but your transplanted hairs are usually resistant to the hormone that causes hair loss, so they will stay in place.
If you live in the Austin, Houston, or Dallas area and are searching for a natural way to restore both your hairline and your confidence, call Arocha Hair Restoration and Transplant Center today at 713-526-HAIR to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Arocha.