Hair Transplants for Men
Over the last 20 years, the advances in our understanding of the processes involved in the surgical excision and relocation of hair follicles has been profound. At the same time, equipment has improved to the point where surgeons are able to work at the microscopic level, removing individual follicular units with absolute precision.
Similarly, the technical evolution of the equipment used has enabled surgeons to deliver outstanding results. Like never before, scarring can now be virtually non-existent and the results of the surgery undetectable.
Follicular Unitary Extraction (FUE)
The combination of all these advances has seen the rapid development of the most modern form of the treatment, FUE. Since it was first introduced, in Japan, 1988, FUE held the promise of significantly improved transplants. It differed significantly from its predecessors by removing a single follicular unit at a time, each unit containing between 1 and 4 hairs. Since the introduction of those early 1mm hollow needles things have come a very, very long way. In the hands of our skilled surgical team, tiny excision holes heal perfectly. Once removed the follicular units are prepared under a microscope before being precisely relocated in their desired position, the deliberate nature of that relocation leaves plenty of choice available to the client in terms of their desired look. It amounts to an unprecedented outcome, unachievable until recently and best of breed in today’s market.
Follicular Unit Extraction Technique
Because an FUE requires that each follicle be removed individually in preparation for a Follicular Unit Transplant, it can become an extremely tedious process. Instead of dealing with strips of follicles, the surgeon is handling individual groups.
The FUE process uses a 0.8 mm to 1.0 mm surgical incision on the scalp where the follicles are to be removed. In order for the process to be done correctly, the patient’s head is completely shaved in the donor area.
After collecting and properly storing the grafts, the surgeon then prepares the transplant area with an eye towards artistically placing the grafts in ways that will look and feel natural. Then the surgeon meticulously places the grafts in the transplant area to get the desired effect.
One of the benefits of FUE is it gives the surgeon the option of removing individual follicles and placing them in such a way as to enhance the final effect.
Size of FUE Procedures
Because the surgeon has to spend a significant amount of time harvesting grafts during an FUE procedure, the time spent on artistically placing grafts to get an optimum effect is shortened. To maintain the quality of results, FUE procedures are generally either done on very small areas, or they are spread out over two or more days.
- A standard FUE would involve anywhere from 800 to 2,000 grafts that would take approximately 10 hours to process
- An extended period of surgery (one day or more) would be used if the procedure required more than 2,000 grafts
- An experienced surgeon will limit a single session to around 2,500 but no more than 3,000 grafts
- To retain the effect of no scarring in the donor area for an FUE, the general consensus is that no more than 5,000 follicular units should be processed over a period of two to three days
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT is a proven technique that has stood the test of time. It sees a thin strip of skin taken from the donor area at the back of the head – the clinical team then work to prepare each follicle, using state of the art microscopy, to ensure it is in the best condition to survive the transplantation process. Capable of transplanting around 4000 grafts in a single session it is the more cost effective of the two procedures, along with some technical reasons why our HIS Hair Clinic expert might recommend FUT, these remain the principal reasons for its overwhelming popularity.
3017 Follicular Units, 1 Hair Transplant, Age 48, Showing Pre-Op Photos and 18 Months Post-Op.
Step One: Donor Harvesting
The donor zone is identified and prepared for harvesting. There are two basic methods of harvesting your donor hair:
FUT Strip Harvesting in which a strip of tissue is removed from your donor zone and then dissected into follicular units of 1 – 4 hairs using the scope.
Step Two: Microscopic Dissection of the Grafts
With FUT Strip Harvest procedures, the donor strip is placed under the scope which is designed specifically for hair restoration surgery. Then the donor strip is dissected into individual follicular units of one to four hairs.
Step Three: Creation of the Recipient Sites
Your hair transplant surgeon creates recipient sites in the proper angle, direction and orientation according to the artistic hair transplant plan he has designed specifically for you. This is where artistry is key and separates an average result from an amazing result.
Step Four: Placement of the Hair Grafts
Finally, your hair grafts are transplanted into the balding and thinning areas of your scalp by a surgical technician who places each graft carefully and meticulously into those recipient sites. Surgical hair restoration is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia.
To discover what a hair transplant might do for you, click here to find your local clinic.