Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)
What is FUE?
Follicular Unit Excision also known as Follicular Unit Extraction involves extracting follicles, most commonly in their natural groupings, from the ‘safe’ or permanent zone at the back and sides of the head. Small punches are used, usually ranging from 0.8-1.0mm in diameter, and follicles are taken out one by one.
The follicles are then trimmed, counted and sorted under the microscopes, (the use of microscopes in hair transplant surgery is associated with less damage to the follicles) ready to be placed into tiny incisions in the recipient zone where there is hair loss. Each follicle or graft may comprise of 1, 2 or 3 hairs and will be placed in a way to give you the most natural results.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of FUE over FUT
The main advantage of FUE is that no linear scar is left, which allows you to wear your hair at a shorter length, usually a grade 1.5 to 2 haircut. It is also viewed as a less invasive procedure by many patients and there is often less pain post operatively compared to Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).
The main disadvantage of FUE is that the number of grafts you can harvest is dictated by the donor area size and density and as a result it often yields fewer grafts than FUT. Grafts are also more susceptible to damage compared to strip FUT and graft quality corresponds to the skill and experience of the surgeon.
From a practical point of view, many patients simply do not want to shave the back of their head for FUE and therefore choose FUT. Unshaven FUE is an option but is usually reserved for smaller cases.
A good choice for younger patients
FUE is a good choice for younger patients or those who may want to wear their hair shorter in the future. It is important to remember though that FUE is not scarless, and the density of hair in the donor region will decrease with each procedure. Long-term planning is essential, especially when treating hair loss in younger patients, as there is always a finite amount of scalp donor hair to utilise.
The quality of the result is dependant on the quality of the surgeon
Many clinics in the UK use technicians without any medical training to carry out FUE excisions. This goes against clear guidance from both the British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS) and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).
At The D’Souza Clinic Mr D’Souza always carries out all of the FUE excisions himself. The quality of the grafts and your subsequent result corresponds to the skill and experience of the surgeon. Make sure you ask the question and know who is carrying out your hair transplant surgery.
Is FUE suitable for me? / How do I book treatment?
We find that a patients overall experience and final results are much better when their surgeon is involved from the beginning. From the initial diagnosis through to treatment and follow-up.
We would like to invite you to arrange a 20 minute consultation call with Mr D’Souza, our surgeon and Medical Director.
During the call we will discuss your symptoms, lifestyle, medical history and which treatment is best suited for you.
If we are confident we can treat your hair loss a more in-depth consultation can then be arranged at our Harley Street Clinic before committing to a treatment plan.