Follicular Unit Extraction is the method of Hair Transplantation where instead of taking out a piece of skin with all of its hair, individual grafts are harvested one by one from a larger area.
How is it done?
Under local anesthesia, special instruments are used to make holes around grafts. The grafts are then pulled out. These holes are less than a millimeter wide and heal by themselves as tiny dots.
Is there any suturing needed?
As the holes made are very small, no suturing is necessary
Is this method scarless?
While no surgery can ever be truly scarless, that name has been used for this technique because the scalp heals so well and these tiny dots are scattered over the scalp and are not seen even when the hair is very short.
Will my donor site become thin by this method?
If done improperly, then YES. It is important to remember that, if more than 1 in 4 hairs are harvested from the donor area then it can start to appear thin. This means that since there are 12,000 grafts in the permanent donor area, the maximum that can be harvested by FUE is 3,000. Also, these grafts should be spread properly with normal hair in between. If grafts are taken next to each other, then patchy scarring can occur which looks worse than an FUT scar. It should be remembered that dots look whitish and hence, will be visible if too many units are extracted.
This is a mistake often made by inexperienced or overenthusiastic surgeons. It is important to get your surgery done by an experienced professional.
Advantages of FUE
- It is almost painless as the holes heal within a day.
- There is no suture used.
- There is no linear scar.
Disadvantages of FUE
- The total number of grafts obtained is less than FUT.
- The donor area has to be trimmed to be able to perform this procedure.
- It is more time consuming and expensive than FUT.
- Damage rate is higher than in FUT.
About The Doctor
Dr. Aniketh Venkataram was trained in Hair Transplantation by Dr. Venkataram himself. He is an expert in FUE and has contributed chapters to Dr. Venkataram’s books as well as presented numerous talks on the subject.