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Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Most of the information described on the FUT page applies equally here. The main difference is the method of extracting or harvesting the donor hair. For the same number of healthy and intact grafts though, the harvesting method should have no impact on the aesthetic result of the hair transplant.

In FUE, the follicular unit grafts (not necessarily hairs) are individually extracted using 0.8-1mm drill bits. This is done manually or mechanically using a variety of equipment. Instead of a linear donor scar, there will be a large number of very small dot scars. FUE is a lot more time consuming relying on spreading the extractions over a large area of the scalp, and therefore significantly limited in the number of grafts possible to transplant in a session compared to strip or FUT. Over-harvesting could lead to risking taking the hairs from non-permanent areas resulting not only in losing the transplanted hairs but also visible FUE scars. In the majority of cases, when a significant number of grafts is required, the entire back and sides of the scalp will need to be shaved on the day.

FUE is a good technique which is more appropriate where a smaller number of hairs are required or where the strip method is not possible. Such a situation may arise where a very short haircut such asa no. 1 or 2 is necessary or particularly desired or where the hair characteristics make it difficult to adequately disguise the donor scar. Other situations include extensive previous transplant scars or where hair needs to be harvested from the body rather than the head. FUE could also be used to refine old-style plug surgery.

It is a medical fact that any tissue cannot heal without forming a scar. The issue is about what the scar looks like and how well it can be disguised. Therefore, it is deceptive to promote FUE as scar-less.

Furthermore, due to the nature of the technique, there is a higher rate of hair transaction with FUE and therefore potential wastage. FUE grafts can also be more vulnerable as there tends to be less protective tissue around the roots.