Follicle Unit Extraction (FUE Transplant Technique)

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Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is one of the several hair restoration & transplant options performed by surgeon Dr. André Nel at the Therapie Hair Restoration Clinic. Visit one of our clinics in Dublin, Cork, Limerick & Galway.


What is a Follicular Unit?


In men, a follicular unit consists of 1-4 terminal (full thickness) hair follicles. In addition there may be a couple of fine vellus hairs, sebaceous (oil) glands, a small muscle (the arrector pili), tiny nerves and blood vessels, and a fine band of collagen that surrounds the unit (the perifolliculum).


Since the follicular unit is the hair- bearing structure of the skin, it should be kept intact to insure maximum growth, and that is why the extraction of the follicular units from the donor site is so important.


There is more than one way to extract follicles from the donor site, and FUE is one such method.


What is FUE?

FUE is a hair transplant technique. Follicular unit extraction uses a small round punch to extract a follicular unit and its adjoining hairs from an area of dense hair (donor site) to implant into a balding area (recipient site).


The specialised punch used in FUE allows the surgeon to remove hair from the skin without causing damage. The little round scars left at the donor site heal quickly and are for the most part hidden in the more abundant hair growing at the site.

Read more about the stages of male hair loss and female hair loss.

The Surgical Procedure

The specialised punches vary in size from 0.7mm to 1.2mm in diameter and are used to extract follicular units/grafts from the scalp one at a time. The sharp punch is used to score or cut through the Arrector Pilli muscle, after which the follicle is gently removed with a specialised set of forceps.


The small wound left behind soon contracts and heals (within 7 days) leaving a very small scar. These scars continue to contract over the next 18 months and are barely visible on close inspection. Only when the scalp is shaved completely and very close (<1mm) will the areas become noticeable. FUE technique allows for wearing hair relatively short (as per No. 3 shaving) after the procedure without noticing (depending on the scalp / hair colour contrast and characteristics).





Who is suitable for FUE?

FUE works for people who have mild to moderate baldness. As with all hair restoration procedures, recipient area vs. donor area ratios, the patient’s expectations, the patient’s age and the hair and scalp characteristics will determine the optimal amount of follicles that can be transplanted to provide adequate density and naturalness, while preserving enough donor hair in the “bank” for future use.

Advantages of FUE

No linear scar: With FUE the follicles are not taken in a linear fashion. They are scattered about and look like tiny red dots. They are easily covered as the hair in the donor area grows out.


Faster nerve repair: as the punch sites are smaller and more spread out than a FUT strip harvest, the nerves repair themselves more quickly.


Less invasive: Because a small punch is used and not a scalpel that cuts into deep tissue, healing time is usually much quicker, and no sutures are required as the punch sites are so small they heal by themselves.


No increased scalp tension: With an FUT procedure, laxity is taken away from the scalp- this does not occur with FUE as there is no removal of a strip of tissue.


Graft selection: FUE allows the Surgeon to ‘cherry pick’ grafts that are necessary for an optimal result. He can select single or finer hairs to use in the hairline or choose follicular units with 3 or 4 hairs to add density where required.


Retains donor growth patterns: FUE causes minimal disruption to the hair direction, swirls and angles of growth in the donor area. This is particularly relevant to patients with wavy or curly hair.


Use of body hair/beard hair:The advent of FUE has also allowed for the exaction of non-scalp hair from the beard or chest. This can be extremely useful for repair patients, patients of depleted or low donor hair reserves.


Find out today if you are a suitable candidate
for this life changing procedure. Call us on 1890 202 203