By Jo Phillips

Worried About Your Hairline? Try Follicular Unit Extraction

If you are experiencing problems with a receding hairline and it’s starting to bother you, it’s natural to wonder if there is anything you can do about it. There are various procedures that offer solutions, but not all of them work that well. A newer procedure that is starting to receive more attention is follicular unit extraction, (FUE), which is seeing considerable success with patients.

Let’s examine what FUE procedure is and how it works.

FUE – What is it?

‘How does a hair transplant work?‘ is a common question to ask. The trouble with some previous hair transplanting techniques was that it removed large areas and planted them into another area on the scalp. This led to an extended, painful recovery period and not always satisfactory results for the patient.

With FUE, the process is radically simplified by removing a miniscule amount of hair follicles – sometimes only one or a few – at a time and implanting them carefully into the designated area. It is a delicate process that takes time to do, depending on how many hair follicles are being relocated.

How is it So Different to Older Procedures?

First, the procedure is performed under a local anaesthesia, not a general one. The medical risks with complications due to anaesthesia are far more common with the general which knocks you out.

Second, the extraction tool used has a diameter of only 0.6mm up to 1mm. It is so small at the tip because the surgeon is only removing 1 to 4 hair follicles at a time. The smaller tool creates less changes to the area where the follicles are being removed and so heals up faster and easier.

And third, only small surgical needles are used to graft the tiny hair follicles onto the scalp in the designated spot. The follicles are positioned to grow new hair that will be a good match for the hair that’s already growing in the treated area. Because of that, it looks far more natural.

How Many Procedures Are Required?

To some extent, that depends on the patient. Some patients opt for 200-300 grafts with 1 to 4 hair follicles per graft. This is performed in a single surgery spanning a few hours. Other patients feel they have a larger scalp area to be transplanted and decide to get 2,500 or even 3,000 grafts. Choosing this amount of hair transplant work will require multiple days to complete.

The good news is that regardless of the number of grafts, the long-term scarring is minimal. FUE procedures are far less noticeable than with other hair transplant procedures, like strip hair transplants, which tend to leave long vertical scarring too.

FUE is near the cutting edge of hair transplants. Different procedures have been tried over the years including hair plugs, which are very obvious, and strip transplants that have a longer healing time. FUE represents a significant step forward in terms of the minimally invasive procedure, significantly less scarring, and pleasing final results. For men and women who are worried about their hairline, this is an interesting solution.

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