Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is one of the two primary methods of hair transplantation provided by Koher Medical. It is comparatively less invasive than the follicular unit transplant (FUT) method as there is no linear scar resulting from this procedure. As a transplantation technique, it was introduced in the late 90s as a response to those patients who desired no apparent scars from the harvesting portion of a hair transplant. Since then, there have been great advancements in the technology and techniques employed in the performance of FUE procedures, and Koher Medical is one of the leading hair restoration practices in the country who perform this type of procedure daily.
The FUE procedure is performed using a mechanized extraction device that utilizes micro punches that range in a variety of sizes from 0.8mm and above.
These punches are either oscillated or rotated above a naturally occurring hair follicle on the scalp, and this separates the hair bundle from the surrounding skin. The hairs are then extracted using a suction device or are manually extracted in preparation for the transplantation process.
Unlike the FUT method, no portion of the scalp is excised: instead, the harvest pattern goes between surrounding hair follicles so that once the procedure is complete no noticeable scars are left over. The patient should be able to grow their hair and wear short hairstyles without the worry of a linear scar disrupting the appearance of the scalp.
An FUE procedure is performed under local anesthetic with no intravenous or general anesthetia necessary: the patient is awake and alert for the duration of the hair transplantation. For the harvesting portion of the procedure, the patient lies face down on a surgical chair as the harvest technician anesthetizes and begins the extraction of hair follicles from the back of the scalp. Shaving a portion of the back of the scalp to a 0 guard is necessary for the technician to visualize the field and perform the extraction process.
This part of the procedure typically takes a few hours depending on the size of the transplant case. Hair bundles gathered from the scalp are then organized by how many hairs are present in each bundle, and are prepared under microscopes as necessary for the transplantation process. Once the harvesting portion is finished, the patient will change positions in the surgical chair and remain upright for the remaining duration of the procedure.
There are essentially no differences between FUE and FUT transplantation techniques other than the method of harvesting. Hairline design, site making, and the transplantation of hair into thinning areas all remain the same after the harvesting portion is done: the primary difference is merely how the hair is extracted from the donor areas
With the FUT procedure, a linear scar will be present along the occipital ridge as a result of the “strip” of skin being excised from the scalp. With the FUE procedure, on the other hand, no such linear scar will exist. Tiny dots of space will remain in place of the extracted hair bundles, and depending on the patient’s donor area and skin type these areas may be imperceptible even when the hair is shaved down to the skin.
Oftentimes the differences between FUT and FUE techniques are overblown to sell you one method over the other, but here at Koher Medical, we perform both methods to the height of excellence. Our staff of physicians and surgical technicians are trained to handle both types of transplantation with no preference of one procedure over the other.
Truthfully, not everyone finds themselves to be a candidate for FUE, and the same goes for FUT. By performing both, Koher Medical provides more options to the patient and allows them to choose their preferred procedure with medical guidance. This way patients aren’t forced into having only one option for hair transplantation.