Follicular Unit Extraction & Follicular Unit Insertion (FUE - FUI)
FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction describes the latest state-of-the-art-method to be currently performed for hair restoration. Unlike the FUT-technique no piece of tissue is removed from the scalp. By using only fine hollow needles/punches single follicular units (FU) can be removed individually from the donor site as well as from other parts of the body.
This method does not leave the patient with a long linear scar on the donor site. Keeping the focus on both the FUT- and the FUE-method it has often lead to larger discussions whether little scars can be detected around the scalp or not. By using the FUE-method every patient has more freedom about hair style and can wear even shorter hair than patients after a FUT-procedure. This is why many people call this method a "scarless"-technique since only individual follicles are removed from the back of the scalp.
On the picture above you can see that hair grows in naturally occurring groupings. A follicular unit is the term to be used for bundles between 1 and 4/5 hair (average of 2,2 hair).
During the FUE process these natural groupings are removed individually and delicately by the use of a fine hollow punch (FUE manuel punch).
See a removed follicular unit next to the hollow punch:
See several follicular units after removal via FUE:
The FUE-method also can be used to place grafts/follicular units on existing scars. On this picture you can see a patient with 243 follicular units being removed and relocated precisely into the lower scar.
See the donor area of chest-hair to be transplanted via FUE:
Positive aspects about FUE & FUI are:
- high growing yield in case the hair transplant has been performed by specialized, experienced and qualified surgeons
- high density since single follicular units/grafts (FU) are tiny enough to be placed next to each other
- minimal invasive method
- more freedom about the long-term hair cut (hair can be cut longer or very short)
- no skin tissue to be excised and transplanted
- body hair can be transplanted in case there is not enough donor supply
- no visible scaring
- diminished healing time
Negative aspects of FUE are (in simple terms):
- the procedure is more time consuming
- restricted amount of grafts to be transplanted per day
- higher cost calculation and pricing
- only few surgeons are currently dominating this method as specialists
- in most of the cases full shaving is required