In follicular unit extraction method donor hair is obtained in follicular units. In this case the individual follicular units are extracted directly from the donor area without using linear incision and removing a strip from the donor area. In this method a circular punch about 0.8 mm to 1 mm in made in the skin and follicles are extracted directly from the scalp.
Follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplant are sometimes mistaken and are considered as same procedures. They are either by strip harvesting or by individual follicle harvesting.
History of FUE
FUE was developed in an effort to reduce or eliminate the scarring caused in strip harvesting followed in follicular unit transplantation method. The effort made by surgeons to increase the thickness of new hair in the bald area caused the width of the strip of hair removed from donor area to increase. This increased width caused increased scars. To avoid the problems caused by scarring, the surgeons invented the method of harvesting individual follicular units with the help of micro punches of the size less than 0.8 mm to1 mm.
For whom FUE is beneficial:
This procedure is very beneficial for patients who want to make the scar invisible. After the healing of the extraction site, it will be very difficult to distinguish the scars even when the hair are kept very short.
Suitable for patients who needs only small grafting in the initial stage and for whom the future needs are not known.
For persons who have already undergone a strip harvesting and have delicate scalp, follicular unit extraction is the suitable method for successive hair transplants.
This procedure is also suitable for persons who want to hide a previous linear scar caused by FUT.
Limitations of FUE:
The available donor hair is limited in follicular unit extraction as the hair from the mid-portion of the donor site cannot be utilized properly due to scarcity in that area. As the scares produced by individual harvesting can cause distortion to adjacent follicles resulting in lower harvesting. This also adds to the shortage of the hair for grafting.
Once a diffuse 3000 graft FUE is done in a patient and he wants to undergo a hair Transplant surgery in future also then it becomes little difficult to perform a FUT or FUE surgery again due to limitation of donor hair .