Follicular unit extraction is a method used to harvest grafts in the least invasive way. Follicular unit extraction enables the surgeon to extract hair follicles using a tiny punch, without the need to remove a strip of hair baring skin. This method of harvesting hair follicles is what makes FUE different from the standard hair restoration procedure. In the typical surgical hair restoration procedure a strip of skin containing bald resistance follicles is removed, this strip is then dissected carefully under magnification to produce individual hair grafts. Both the extraction and the strip excision procedure produce comparable micro grafts. The major difference between the two methods is the harvesting of the grafts.
The Pros and Cons of Follicular Unit Extraction
· Follicular unit extraction is the minimally invasive way which follicular unit grafts are removed.
· There is less trauma to the graft during the extraction process then with the traditional method
· Patients who have reduced donor densities, due to poor hair quality in the donor area, have a better, healthier selection of grafts.
· Patients with tight scalps, where traditional strip harvesting can be problematic, are able to receive hair restoration now that this method is being used.
· There is no visible scar, patients who like to keep a short hair cut would benefit from this
· The maximum amount of grafts cannot be harvested
· Grafts harvested from places other than the donor area will not be permanent
· The cost is twice as much as the traditional procedure
· Problems of “capping” (this is when the top of the graft pulls off during the extraction)
· Multiple sessions are required to equal one strip