FUE is a new technique in hair transplant, which leaves no scar after the hair surgery.
The latest step forward in hair transplants is the so-called Follicular Unit Extraction technique or FOX, which has been applied for 4 or 5 years now.
Historically hair transplants used 3 to 4 mm punches 20 years ago. The results often were not very aesthetic. In the last ten years the cutting of hair transplants has slowly but surely replaced this technique. Hair grafts are isolated using a strip of tissue removed from the back of the scalp, which is then cut up under the microscope.
A quality hair transplant will henceforth be impossible to detect.
Recently the follicles are also directly extracted from the scalp, using a micro punch of approximately 0.9 to 1.2 mm in diameter. The technical difficulty involved is considerable and the appropriate instruments had to be developed to achieve these results.
Follicular extraction does not replace classic techniques, but it has very interesting complementary benefits.
Given that this technique leaves few if any scars (in the shape of minute white spots covered by hair) the technique is particularly suited to men who like to wear their hair very short or in young patients where it is impossible to determine how things will develop.
The scarring process is quite fast: the strip of skin removed with the grafts will in fact grow back without a trace of the intervention.
The zone in which hair can be removed is larger than with the classic techniques. Body hair can also be used, for example hair removed from the torso or the thighs.
The time in surgery is quite long. Skin quality will facilitate or complicate work.
The average amount of grafts is limited to 500 and 1,000 FU per day in function of the degree of difficulty of the job and the surgeon’s dexterity.
Patients must thus foresee several days of surgery to obtain the same result as a classic long session of 3,000 grafts in one day.
Generally speaking the donor zone must be shaved, which can sometimes be an issue for certain patients.
FUE is recommended for:
- Patients who like to wear their hair very short in the donor zone or who one day might consider shaving off all their hair.
- Patients who only require a small hair transplant, for example to hide the scars of a face lift or an eyebrow transplant.
- Patients with a donor zone with limited hair, but with a hairy chest with long hair.
- Patients who wish to hide the scar of a previous hair transplant intervention.
Body hair is the hair found in men, on the chest, on shoulders, back and calves. When the quality of the donor area is rather poor or exhausted following previous hair transplants, hair from these body parts can be used.
Body hair transplants do however come with restrictions.
Body hair often has a much lower diameter than the hair on your head. Body hairs often grow alone, so this generally means single hair grafts. Body hair takes longer to grow.
Although body hair tends to grow a little when implanted in the scalp, it will never achieve the length of a normal hair.
This explains why results are often less spectacular than in the case of a classic hair transplant.
Body hair transplants are indicated in the following cases:
- A poor donor zone or a donor zone with several scars.
- Body hair is often used in combination with a classic hair transplant. They allow for better coverage.
- They can also be used to repair scars in the donor zone.
- And finally they can also be used sometimes for eyebrow transplant.
FUE is a new, successful technique. It is very precise and as a result is easily integrated in top-class hair transplants. As such it should be part of a surgeon’s therapeutic offer.
We offer it in Brussels with the collaboration of Dr John Cole of Atlanta, who is one of the world leaders in this field since 2003.