Fue grafts survival is a challenging task despite the advancement in transplant techniques. Hair transplants are a popular solution for alopecia, no matter what is its cause. Androgenetic and cicatricial alopecia are the most common forms among the patients. These types of alopecia have been addressed successfully through hair transplant techniques. But the question here that worries most of the patients is how satisfying are the results?
Follicular unit excision grafts survival becomes significantly more challenging when a higher number of grafts is transplanted in one session which is several hours long (5 to 7 hours). A mega session comprising more than 3000 grafts transplantation will require more maintenance to supervise different factors that affect grafts survival. Several different surveys have been performed to determine how the viability of grafts is affected by different factors during transplantation. Besides technical factors affecting grafts viability such as warming and dehydration of grafts, another factor that affects a transplant’s success is its cost and the surgeon’s skill.
What is Fue grafts survival rate?
As for Fue grafts survival, the success rate varies. The most popular transplant technique that has been in use today is Follicular Unit Extraction that involves taking out individual units of follicles from the donor area and transplanting them onto the bald area individually. It has proved to be more effective regarding grafts viability and most clinics prefer it over FUT. Some clinics cut costs and provide unqualified surgeons, so the survival rate for individual grafts decreases and becomes less than 50%, increasing the chances of side effects. Whereas a clinic with a good and honest reputation will charge a little more but the survival rate will increase around 60 to 70%. However, the survival rate can be increased more, from 90% to even 100% if transplanted under the exact conditions and great supervision. The FUT technique has almost a similar success rate but the disadvantage is the scar of the grafts strip that is left in the donor area after transplant and decreases the natural look. Hence this technique is falling out and FUE is winning the race.
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Here are the factors that affect follicular unit excision grafts survival:
1-The health of donor scalp area:
Not all candidates qualify for hair transplants. The condition of one’s donor area determines whether he can restore hair in the bald area or not. The follicles are extracted individually or in a group containing two to five follicles. A patient with androgenetic alopecia may have miniaturized follicles in the donor area that are weak and even disappear with time. Therefore, the number of follicular units decreases and so do the chances of transplanted grafts survival. A weak donor area results in poor results. Follicles can be strengthened using Minoxidil or Finasteride in the donor area. Also, poor characteristics of the donor’s hair led to an aggressive hairline design that causes continued loss. Therefore, it is important to evaluate a patient’s scalp before proceeding with surgery.
- Factors on the day of surgery:
The transplanted grafts take approximately 3 days to regain blood supply from the scalp. From grafts extraction to their transplantation, many factors may result in the death of follicular units. These factors include dehydration, ischaemia, lactic acid accumulation, cold injury, mechanical trauma, ATP depletion, hypoxia, etc. the death of grafts due to these factors can be decreased if transplant is carried out in supervision of expert team members.
Advanced storage solutions and additives have been introduced to increase the viability of grafts. Therefore, one should consult the surgeon before the surgery to get his scalp examined so he may not waste thousands of dollars on a transplant he was not eligible for in the first place.
Can we prolong Fue grafts survival?
Yes, we can improve grafts survival outside the body for a few hours more by keeping these into the normal saline, Ringer lactate, hypothermosol and ATP solutions. Thus, we can prolong the life of the follicles outside the body and maximum growth rate after implanting into the recipient area.
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