What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?
Follicular Unit Extraction is a hair transplant technique in which hair follicles are extracted ONE BY ONE from the donor area. The skin and hair follicles are removed with no staples or stitches necessary to close the pin-point size wounds. As a result of not needing staples or stitches to close the wounds this method is scarless. Whereas the older “strip method” left patients with a long linear scar in the back of the head.
What is a follicular unit?
A piece of tissue removed from the donor area containing one follicle of hair. Some follicles contain only one hair shaft while others may contain 2, 3, and even 4 hairs.
Where are follicular units placed?
All follicular unit grafts containing one hair are placed in the frontal hairline, while grafts containing 2 or more hairs are transplanted into the mid- scalp/ crown.
How long does a hair transplant procedure take?
Approximately 4-9 hours. The more grafts a patient is transplanting the longer the procedure.
Am I awake during the procedure?
Yes, only a local anesthetic is used to numb the scalp (similar to the numbing method that is used when you have a dental procedure).
Is a hair transplant painful?
There is minimal discomfort during the numbing process and the rest of the procedure is relatively painless.
I was told the newly transplanted hairs would fall out. Is this true?
Yes, but this is a normal part of the process. The newly transplanted hairs typically fall out 2-4 weeks after your procedure. Although the new hairs fall out, the tissue containing the growth information remains and causes new hairs to begin to grow 6-8 months after your original procedure date.
What do the new hairs look like?
They will look like your normal hair as they grow. In the beginning stages of growth they will be fine and they reach their full thickness between 9-12 months.
Is there an immediate result from the transplant?
No, patience is key for this procedure! Final results take 9-12 months after your original procedure date.
How long does it take for the “new” hairs to grow?
Some hair will begin to grow around 6 months after your procedure but the full results take 9-12 months.
What do I look like after the surgery? Can I go to work the next day?
After surgery, we bandage the back of the scalp (donor site) with a small compression bandage for 24 hours. After the bandage is removed, the back of the scalp will have some redness. The top of the scalp, where the grafts were transplanted, will have tiny pin- point scabs. Most patients who have the procedure on a Thursday or Friday, return to work by Monday or Tuesday of the following week.
What are some alternatives to hair transplantation?
There are several non- surgical hair replacement options. These include hairpieces, cosmetics for the scalp, minoxidil (topical solution), and Propecia (oral medication).
How much does a transplant cost?
The procedure pricing is based on the number of grafts transplanted therefore it varies depending on the specific characteristics of a patient’s hair and amount of loss.