FUE

The history of FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)

Over the course of the last few years, the number of grafts transplanted in any one treatment session has steadily increased. This means that the donor strip needs to be bigger in order to provide the requisite number of grafts. These often time-consuming treatment sessions led to a major improvement in results. However it took a long time to acknowledge that the removal of a larger donor strip also caused greater scarring. One of the reasons for the development of Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE for short was the dissatisfaction of patients and surgeons with the previous extraction and transplantation methods. This went hand-in-hand with the wish to reduce scarring in the donor area, as this sometimes causes problems when removing strips.

FUE as an alternative extraction method provided the opportunity of removing individual grafts using a micro-punch. Early FUE versions did however cause difficulties, as the removal of individual FUs took up too much time, thereby pushing up costs. This in turn resulted in considerably less grafts being removable at once than under the strip method. As with strip removal, many hair follicles were destroyed in early graft extractions. The FUE method leaves no linear scars. However scars consisting of many small white dots remained visible, thereby delaying the triumph of FUE. At the same time, innovations in the field of FUT reduced acceptance for FUE. The minimization of the linear scar after removal of the donor strip via the trichophytic closure method was one particular factor somewhat detracting from the new FUE technique.

Example of a patient, with scarring from a previous FUE surgery (performed ex domo)


Example of a patient, with scarring from a previous FUE surgery (performed ex domo)
 


FUE - a belated success story

Over the past few years major progress has been made in the field of FUE, with the technique becoming increasingly fine-tuned. Smaller punches are now being used, thereby minimising scarring. Incisions are more precise - and understanding for the structure of the extracted follicles has grown, meaning that less are damaged and results are increasingly positive.

Follicular Unit Extraction has now become a successful treatment method for transplanting high numbers of FUs (i.e. high numbers of grafts) without any great scarring. FUE and FUT differ in their respective pros and cons. Which method is to be used depends on its suitability for individual patients and is weighed up carefully by Dr. Feriduni.

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