Can you explain what FUE is and why so many people seem to think it is the best choice in hair transplantation?
FUE stands for follicular unit extraction. This is a relatively new technique and has become popular since mid to late 2008, which is the time that the Foundation for Hair Restoration surgeons began utilizing this technique. Approximately 20% of all patients are very appropriate candidates for the FUE procedure. The advantages of the FUE technique is that it avoids altogether a single donor site incision, instead replacing it with multiple very, very tiny punch holes which heal up as nearly imperceptible dots or lighter dots in the scalp. Limitations to the FUE procedure include a limited number of grafts that can be obtained in a single procedure, usually no more than 1,500 up to 2,200 versus with the strip technique where many more grafts can be obtained, the need to shave the head in the donor area if more than 500 or so grafts are to be obtained in a single procedure, the lower rate of hair regrowth, typically in the range of 75-80% for most patients, and the higher cost due to the excessive amount of time required to perform the procedure. However, for patients who choose to shave their head or want to have the option of doing so in the future, including most African American males, it is a very appropriate technique.
Posted by Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACS