Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a natural progression in donor site harvesting in hair transplant surgery. FUE involves using a small, less than 1mm, round punch to remove individual hair follicles. The follicles are then placed just as a strip harvest graft would be placed using the follicular unit graft technique. The advantage to FUE is that the linear scar from strip harvest is replaced with small white microdots. Patients do not need sutures as the small holes made with the punch will usually heal in 2-3 weeks. The microdots are often harder to see than a linear scar for people who want to wear very short hair.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is particularly suited for patients who:
Want to wear their hair very short
Have previous strip harvest scars that make additional harvest difficult
Want smaller sessions
Want to address previous scalp scars from previous hair transplants, other surgeries, or trauma
Because of the blind nature of the hair harvest, there is a greater risk of damaging the hair follicle while harvesting. This can result in the need to harvest a greater number of grafts to create the desired transplant result. The donor site must also be shaved for the transplant, which is not needed with strip harvesting.
With over 10 years experience with follicular unit extraction (FUE), Plano based hair restoration surgeon Dr. D.J. Verret is able to minimize the risks of the procedure. FUE procedures are more labor intensive so multiple sessions are often needed for larger transplants.
Recovery after Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Procedure
As with any hair transplant, recovery is a look recovery. Patients can return to non-strenuous activities immediately. Scabs will be noticeable for most patients for about 10 days. Bruising and swelling may also occur during this time. For patients who elect FUE procedures, it can take several weeks for the donor hair to grow back since it has to be shaved for the procedure.