Follicular Unit Extraction technique is a manually or motorized performed surgical process that involves follicles extraction and implantation. It is also referred to as FUE or FT which stands for follicular transfer. The follicles are removed from back and sides of head referred to as the donor site. This method was first narrated and introduced in Japan by Masumi Inaba in 1988. He talked of using a 1 mm needle to extract follicle units.
The most valuable key during the process is the survival of the extracted follicular unit to provide prosperous hair transplantation. Follicular units are to be protected from being transected while being harvested. If they happen to be, it might lead to a failed transplant since it is most likely that a transected unit will not survive the transplant.
The surgeon is expected to carefully extract follicles manually from the donor site and implant them on the thinning area. First, the donor area is shaved followed by administering numbing injection to provide patients comfort throughout the procedure.
Tiny or individual follicle units consisting of 1-4 hairs per unit are then removed. With the use of fine needles, the surgeon will puncture the site for grafts in a specific consistent pattern and density in order to mimic a practical hair pattern. The final touch involves implanting the individual grafts into the recipient area.
Follicular Unit Extraction Procedure Limitation
It is as important to educate the patients on the advantages of Follicular Unit Extraction as its disadvantages that come with it too. Like any other surgery, FUE has its own shortcomings too.
1. Donor site shaving– It appears that its first disadvantage is experienced at the beginning of it . It is a necessity for the surgeon to shave off the hair entirely on the donor area. This poses a problem to most patients especially when the donor site is externally exposed, like on the head. It disturbs them on how they will appear to society.
2. Feeble Grafts– Since the grafts harvested using the FUE method are thin, these have low number of tissues. This makes them fragile and is likely to decrease yields.
3. The occurrence of graft transection– There are incidences of graft transection during harvesting while exercising the FUE process. The rate even increases in cases where the patient’s hair characteristics are difficult. For instance, those with curly hair and mushy skin.
4. Possibility of baldness in the future– some physicians may choose donor sites from areas vulnerable to future hair loss. If the follicle units (from the endangered areas) are transplanted together in a specific site, then it is likely for that area to experience thin out or even total baldness in the future.
5. Presentation of scars– Some may think the FUE process does not involve scarring but this is not necessarily true. Most of the scars are not visible but others appear as pinpoint white macules and are most visible when the patient wears short hair.
6. Possible infections– It is a potential complication to be addressed while using the FUE method. Some patients may experience infection around the donor site thus hindering proper hair regrowth while others on the graft area hence affecting its progress in hair restoration. As you start your journey towards FUE hair restoration experience, it’s only wise of you to consider every possible outcome of the process.
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