FUE: Failed extraction with micro motor

A few words on Motorized FUE Punches - Micro motors

In this picture you will see a patient displaying the embarrassing results of an unluckily performed FUE-transplant via motorized FUE extractors - micro motors.

The daily yield of extracted follicles is rising dramatically through the use of motorized punches. However, the drawbacks for the donor area as much as for donor hair are of serious concern for the potential patient. Many times grafts (follicular units) will be extracted via motorized punch from too small areas. Automatic extraction is furthermore maximizing the risk for follicle root damage as a massive vibration will traumatize, injure and even burn grafts since the automated punch is generating heat during the extraction process and cannot be handled as sensitively as a hand punch. When removing grafts manually from the donor area the punch can be better steered.

Despite some potential injuries at the donor area and a rising transection rate yet some acceptable and even good results have been achieved utilizing motorized punches.

As ethnic groups have different densities of hair the average number of grafts per square centimeter is varying from white Caucasians to Blacks and Asian people. Whereas Caucasians have the highest number of follicle units black people have less hair. Conversely hairs of black people often appear more voluminous. As Turkish patients have different characteristics of hair (fabric etc.) they simply need less hair to be transplanted than Germans do. As a matter of fact even unwanted transection of follicular units does not necessarily affect the final outcome if results are compared between different ethnic groups.

Quick removal – Lower rates

In many clinics, motorized punches are used to perform FUE in patients experiencing hair loss in order to remove single follicular units rapidly. Due to an increased extraction rate per day the costs can be reduced easily and lower rates can be offered to attract more patients. As more patients will be treated within a shorter period of time the profit is rising relatively.

But both with automated and manual removal a few things have to be considered.

A maximum rate of about 1000 - 1500 grafts will be removed from the donor area via FUE daily when professionally and artfully extracting follicular units with a hand punch. By the use of motorized punches a rate of 3000 - 4000 grafts per day will display the actual amount of grafts removed from the horseshoe shaped fringe of the head. The individual prize will considerably be lower and the clinic´s turnover rising due to a larger amount of grafts being redistributed.

Basic information: “Follicular Unit”

When exploring new methods for hair transplant hair surgeons discovered that hair grows in groupings of follicular units with 1 to 4 hairs each.

By the use of special punches single follicular units can be harvested from the donor area individually. This latest state-of-the-art method (FUE – Follicular Unit Extraction ) allows to extract and relocate single grafts with 1 to 4 hairs each.

Most commonly the human scalp is covered with 2.2 to 2.3 hairs per follicular unit (graft) separating single-grafts (1 hair) from multi-grafts (2-4 hairs).

Hair Count

A total of 3000 grafts (follicular units) being extracted from the patient´s donor area eventually displays an average number of about 7000 hairs.

High transection rates with FUE have been a critical part since follicular units can be traumatized or hurt with an increasing extraction speed by the use of motorized punches. Hair follicles with more than one hair may result in single grafts lately. A follicular unit of 3 hairs resulting in 1 single hair may lead to an average hair count of 1.5 hairs per follicular unit, which means - according to our example - a maximum coverage of 4500 hairs. This is 2500 hairs less than expected since 7000 would have been possible. For the same number of grafts, the patient receives less hair.

Final Results

When regarding the characteristics of the patient´s hair, such as fabric and size, a satisfying outcome for the balding area can be achieved now and then even if follicular units will be transected.

Eventually patients with limited donor hair will face an embarrassing problem in case a second procedure is required due to progressive hair loss. There is no further possibility to harvest anymore grafts since the donor supply is almost depleted which may result in an unnatural outcome lately.

Consequences:

As good and satisfying results have not consistently been achieved by the use of motorized FUE extractors every potential patient is asked to be cautious when opting for this method. Expertise and extensive experience is required for the hair surgeon utilizing motorized punches.

Patients with limited budget opting for motorized extraction are recommended to carefully pay attention to a slow and delicate removal of their grafts.