FUE Hair transplant
About Follicular Unit Extraction – FUE hair transplant.
FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction, a technique also variously known as FIT, CIT, FUSE, DHI and Woods techniques. This technique uses a microscopic punch to remove each individual hair graft, in the same way as an apple corer removes the core of an apple. FUE is a relatively new technique, and only really established itself in the early years of this century. It still has some way to go in its evolution. Like all things, it has advantages and disadvantages, sometimes depending on patient preference or characteristics. We performed our first FUE in 2003, shortly after discussing it with various doctors at the 2003 New York ISHRS conference. Both Dr Robert Jones and Dr Alan Feller were very helpful in particular.
An important point to make first is that FUE is a different extraction method for hair transplants but the technique of inserting the grafts is just the same – it doesn’t mean the grafts can be inserted any closer or that they grow any better. Neither is it a method of “hair cloning” nor is it invisible or “surgery free.” It is however, a very useful adjunct treatment which may be the best technique of hair transplantation for some patients but a waste of time and money for others.
In most cases, the donor area is just the same (although it is the method of choice for body hair HT). The scalp hair is usually shaved all over but it is possible sometimes just to shave small donor areas or to leave the recipient site long. The patient then usually lies face down on something similar to a massage couch and the scalp is numbed up. An FUE punch is used, either manually or by electric handle, to “score” around the hairs, to a specific depth (about 2mm) and angle. The hair is “plucked” out with forceps and then trimmed to a uniform size, prior to re implantation. The hair can be damaged by getting the angle, depth or “pull” wrong. This is why it is slow and expensive. Attempts to make “robotic” FUE so far are not more effective than a skilled human and doesn’t make it cheaper, although potentially a little faster.
Non shaven U FUE – New!
There are many ways to perform what is commonly called non shaven FUE or U-FUE for short.
Probably the most effective is the simplest – combing and separating the hair into partings and then trimming the hair into very narrow “stripes” then performing standard FUE. Because it is the normal way of doing it, then the extraction quality and regrowth is high.
Another is to use a special slotted punch to pass the hair through and then performing FUE. But this is a slow technique.
Lastly, you can just ignore the hair and assume the sharp punch will just cut through the hair and just extract FUE as normal. But the long hair will alter the angulation and also blunt the punch quickly.
At Westminster Clinic, we are introducing the first option for small sessions only of non shaven U FUE of approximately 600 grafts for £3000 i.e. Non shaven U FUE grafts at £5 per graft
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