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What is FUE

FUE – or Follicular Unit Excision – is a hair transplantation technique that is relatively new compared to FUT. It is a minimally invasive procedure, which involves the transplantation of individual hair follicles from one area of the scalp to the other. The process consists of individually selecting follicular units from an area of the scalp that has a higher abundance of hair and transplanting it to the problematic area of the head.

Advantages of FUE hair transplant

No scarring

Cavitation is a natural phenomenon based on low frequency ultrasound. The ultrasound produces a strong wave of pressure to fat cell membranes. A fat cell cannot withstand this pressure and therefore disintegrates into a liquid state.

Less post-operative discomfort

There is less postoperative discomfort after an FUE procedure. It is conducted without any cuts or sutures. This allows for the postoperative period to go without major complications.

Transplant in case of low donor density

The FUE method allows hair to be transplanted even in the cases of low hair density in the donor area. This is achieved by harvesting individual grafts from the donor area or harvesting from areas of the body with BHT (Body Hair Transplant). Areas such as the chest, Beard, leg/arm and the pubic region can all be harvested for an FUE procedure. 

High Follicular Unit density

Grafts transplanted during an FUE hair transplantation procedure consist of a higher number of follicles. This is because the surgeon can selectively target high-density, multi follicle FUs made up of 3-4 hair roots. Research shows that the hair/follicle ratio after an FUE procedure conducted by an experienced surgeon is 3, as opposed to the number being 2 for the FUT procedure. 

Disadvantages of FUE hair transplant

Lower number of grafts per session

The number of grafts transplanted in a single FUE session is usually lower than during a FUT procedure. 

Transection frequency

The incidence of transection of follicles in an FUE procedure is higher than during a FUT procedure. In a worst-case scenario, 10-15% of follicles or more may undergo transection. In the case of a FUT procedure, this number is as low as 3%. 

Higher stress on grafts

Grafts are under a lot more stress during an FUE procedure, as there is much less connective tissue surrounding them. This results in more care required for individual hairs to ensure their survival. 

How is an FUE hair transplant conducted?

Step 1 – Trimming and inspection of the donor area

The first step in an FUE hair transplantation procedure is to trim the hair on the head. The preferred length is 1-2mm. Once this is done, the surgeon shall review the donor area – on the scalp or elsewhere – with the folliscope system. This allows the doctor to understand the health of the hairs in the donor area, their quantity, quality of the follicular units, and their density. 

Step 2 – Preparing recipient area

The surgeon starts preparing the recipient area for the grafts. Using needles, specifically designed for the purpose, the doctor creates minuscule holes where the grafts will be implanted. The needles are barely 1 mm in diameter and have depth limiters.

Step 3 – Counting prepared sites

In order to be precise in the operation, the number of sites prepared for the grafts is calculated. It also allows the patient to be aware of how well the operation is going. 

Step 4 – Graft excision

The surgeon starts excising individual grafts from the donor area. A special machine, designed to extract individual grafts, allows the operation to be conducted without leaving any linear scarring.

Step 5 – Securing the grafts

The extracted grafts are then placed into petri dishes and secure containers that had been prepared ahead of time. This is done to keep the grafts safe and alive throughout the procedure. The containers have been specially cleaned and prepared to ensure the safety of the individual grafts over the time of the operation. The grafts are also examined, to make sure they are well suited for transplantation.


Step 6 – Placing the grafts

Once secured and reviewed, a team of experienced surgical assistants starts placing the grafts in the prepared area. This is done under the head doctor’s close observation and with his direct invovlement.

Step 7 – Reviewing immediate resultOnce completed, the doctor will review the immediate result. This is when the final consultation will also be provided, with advice about physical activity and any pain treatment being provided. While the immediate result may not look as attractive as one may wish for, the long term results work out to be beautiful. 

Step 8 – Post-operation care

Minimal invasive nature of FUE method, enables you to spend the night home and already travel the next day. We will give you all relevant information about post-operative care and be there to answer any questions you might have.

When is FUE appropriate

Whether the Follicular Unit Excision hair transplantation procedure is right for you or not depends on the doctor’s assessment. During consultation, the doctor will evaluate the stages of your hair loss and determine whether FUE can be successfully applied for the results you desire or not. Most FUE procedures are conducted only if the hair loss being treated is below a certain threshold.The procedure is most effective in treating male pattern baldness, as it moves hair from the denser areas of the head on the back and sides to the front. FUE can also be successfully applied in women facing similar hair loss patterns.

FUE can also be recommended by your doctor in a number of other cases. Schedule a consultation with the Reading Cosmetic Clinic to get a personalized assessment. 

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