The follicular unit extraction or FUE is an extraction technique in the hair transplantation that uses the instruments to make a circular hole around the follicular units, separating it from the surrounding tissues, which is based on forecasting and speculation. The FUE hair transplant as a part of the extraction technique uses the punching machine for the hair root extraction that allows a Surgeon to extract a single number of follicular units in a single time that decreases the output as well as increases the time of the extraction process. This method is also termed as the blind technique because the extraction is decided by the Surgeon’s forecasting ability that may go wrong and causes a great damage to hair roots.
The follicular unit extraction has many downsides that a hair loss patient must aware before choosing it as a final option as follows:
- It is a Random Process of Extraction: The hair follicular units are extracted one-by-one from the safe donor of the scalp that increases the time of extraction as well as decreases the capacity of the donor area and graft’s number. The multiple punching processes cause the multiple circular wounds, usually 1 mm in size that takes a complete 1-2 weeks for complete healing. Nonetheless, the multiple white tiny scars remain on the scalp. The random punching process decreases the output and not sufficient for covering the higher grade of baldness.
- It causes a heavy damage to Graft: Since the extraction of grafts/follicular unit is based on the speculation and forecasting by the performing Surgeon, it is hard to define and identify the exact and direction of hair roots beneath the skin that may lead to damage of the respective grafts while punching. The graft damage in FUE technique is more common in the picture due to speculation and disallows a surgeon to collect the desirable number of grafts.
- The Multiple Scars are greatly in the Picture: The multiple punching processes, which is allowed to extract the particular follicular unit causes the multiple circular wounds on the donor site that may extend up to all other areas of the scalp regardless of their resistivity to the hormone DHT. This multiple wounds may heal within 10 days, but scars in the form of tiny spots are more predominant after the surgery that requires concealer.
- Damages of Grafts due to the type of Hair in FUE: In the FUE technique, the grafts get damage while punching process owing to the different type of hair. There are 3 main types of hair, i.e., straight, wavy, and curly. All these types of hair have a different number of grafts as well as the shifting & structure that cannot be identified and punching leads to damaging of subsequent graft causes a great loss in the procedure.
Advantages of FUE technique: When is it allowed?
- It is suitable for Body hair transplant
- It is recommended in the case of a lesser NW grade of baldness such as the NW-II or III
- It is allowed when a patient is very young
- It is performed when a patient doesn’t possess the required eligibility criteria for receiving the FUT technique
Limitations of FUE Technique:
- It gives only a limited number of grafts due to random punching process
- The results are less sustainable due to extraction from the unsafe areas also
- It is not suitable for performing the high-density hair transplant
- The greater coverage cannot achieve by the FUE technique.
On the whole, we can say that the FUE techniques can an alternate of the hair transplant procedure, but it cannot opt in the view of achieving the long-lasting result. Therefore, the FUT technique is recommended by the expert Surgeon if the patient meets the desirable criteria for receiving the technique allows us to receive the best permanent result of the restoration procedure.