FUE (Follicle Unit Excision)
Follicle Unit Excision (formerly Follicle Unit Extraction) is a hair transplant technique involving a minimally invasive procedure to harvest hair follicles from the safe donor area at the back and sides of the scalp and transplant those follicles into areas where hair loss has occurred. This surgical procedure is done by using a specialised punch to harvest the hair follicles from the donor area. The grafts are sorted and stored temporarily in organ storage solution and normal saline at cooler temperatures, then processed before transplanted into the recipient areas with hair loss.
Why is FUE ideal for hair loss?
If performed by an experienced and qualified surgeon, Follicle Unit Excision can offer the patient remarkable results with denser hair growth in the required areas. This procedure also offers patients a permanent solution to hair loss conditions, making it one of the most popular methods of hair loss treatment. Follicle Unit Excision harvesting as a method for hair transplant surgery is suitable to both men and women.
Advantages of Follicle Unit Excision
- No linear scar: With Follicle Unit Excision the follicles are harvested one-by-one using a sharp circular punch that leaves a small round wound that heals with a week. Over a 12 to 18 month period the scar shrinks leaving a very small slightly depigmented dot on the skin which is barely seen on a bare scalp and completely covered and not visible when the donor hair has grown out.
- Less nerve damage: Because the punch sites are small and distributed randomly over the whole Safe Donor Area, nerve damage is less when compared to FUT strip surgery where some of the occipital nerves are severed during the cutting of the strip. However, peripheral nerves regrow over a period of 18 months and in both FUE and FUT harvesting the sensation returns on the back of the scalp. With Follicle Unit Excision the sensation returns quicker and there seems to be less numbness during the recovery phase.
- Less invasive: Because a small punch is used and not a scalpel that cuts into the tissues, the healing time is much quicker, and no sutures are required as the punch sites are so small they heal by themselves through secondary intention.
- Scalp laxity: With an FUT procedure, laxity is often less after surgery where with FUE the scalp laxity tends to be better maintained post healing.
- Graft selection: FUE allows the surgeon to ‘cherry pick’ grafts that are necessary for an optimal result. Especially during FUT/FUE combination procedures, by doing FUE specific grafts with 3 hairs and 4 hairs can be targeted in areas where they are more prevalent using Follicle Unit Excision technique.
- Retains donor growth patterns: FUE causes minimal disruption to the hair direction and angles of growth in the donor area.
- Use of body hair/beard hair:The advent of FUE has allowed for the extraction of non-scalp hair from the beard or chest areas in patients with limited donor supply.
- Recovery period is relatively quick: The tiny dots caused by the small punch used for the Follicle Unit Excision will heal within a week.
Find out more about Follicle Unit Excision. Book your consultation at The Hair, Skin & Wellness Clinic where Dr Andre Nel and his team will take care of your hair loss concerns, provide you with a personal treatment plan that will restore your hair to its full potential.
Learn More About FUS/T (Follicle Unit Strip/Transplant surgery)