What is an FUE hair transplant? Advantages and Disadvantages of the FUE technique explained.
If you are considering a hair transplant, chances are that you have come across different methods and are not sure which method is right for you. That's totally normal as each method has its own pros and cons and is not equally suitable for everyone.
In this blog, we inform you about the FUE method, what it means, how it works, what the pros and cons are and for whom it is suitable.
You can also have a look at our FUT VS. FUE VS. DHI blog. Here all three techniques are discussed and compared given their advantages and disadvantages, and for whom it is suitable.
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What is a hair transplant / hair implant?
In order to better understand the FUE method it is best to first look at what a hair transplant itself entails.
Hair restoration surgery or hair transplant is a type of surgery that extracts (removes) hairs you already have in the form of grafts and implants them in a different place. A graft is a very small piece of living tissue containing healthy hair follicles. The grafts are harvested from the donor area and then implanted in the recipient area (the balding area). This means that you are your own donor. When the transplanted grafts heal up, they are fully incorporated in the recipient area and can from then on produce hair.
What is an FUE hair transplant (Follicular Unit Extraction)?
The Follicular Unit Extraction method is a hair transplantation method in which grafts are individually extracted from the donor area and are then implanted into the recipient area. Although it is a treatment that requires a lot of expertise, the principle behind it is surprisingly simple.
Via the FUE method, a large surface can be filled leaving behind virtually no visible scars in the donor area (big advantage compared to the FUT method). This together with the short recovery period are key advantages which make it the most popular hair transplant treatment. A treatment takes about 2-8 hours, and up to 3500-4000 grafts can be harvested per treatment, but this of course strongly depends on the density and quality of the hairs in the donor area of the patient.
How does an FUE treatment work?
The FUE treatment can be divided into three steps.
Step 1: Extraction
First, the scalp is numbed with an anaesthetic cream and then grafts from the donor area (a small piece of tissue with 1-4 hair follicles) are extracted one by one using an instrument with a rounded blade that makes small punctures around the hair follicles (diameter of 0,6-1mm). After the punctures are made, the grafts are collected from the donor area.
Step 2: Preparation
Immediately after extraction, the collected grafts are preserved with a specific plasma solution that ensures the vitality of the grafts. The grafts are then viewed and sorted under a microscope, after which they are again placed back in the preservation solution until implantation can begin. In the meantime, the recipient area is pretreated by the opening of canals into which the grafts can be implanted.
Step 3: Implantation
The grafts are placed one by one in the incised canals. Here, expertise from the surgeon required to place the grafts in the right angle and depth. After all the grafts have been implanted, the surgery is finished and the focus is on the aftercare, which is at least just as important!
Advantages and disadvantages of the FUE technique
Advantages of the FUE technique
Virtually no visible scars
Suitable for people who want short hair
Faster recovery compared to FUT (about 1 week)
Cover a larger area compared to DHI
Disadvantages of the FUE technique
It's more expensive compared to the FUT method
It's time consuming
For whom is the FUE method suitable?
The FUE method is most suitable for people with a lot of hair loss and do not want a scar on the back of their head (as is the case with the FUT method). This method is suitable for filling large areas, so it can be used to adjust the hairline, fill inlets and / or crown area.
What variants of the FUE method are there?
In your search for hair transplants, the many luxurious FUE terms can often cause confusion. Mediqle is there to clarify things up and we briefly explain what these variants of the FUE treatment entail.
The sapphire technique is not so much a different technique, but the name refers to the material from which the blade of the cutting instrument (for opening the canals) is made. Usually, it is made of metal, and as the name implies with the sapphire method it is made of sapphire, a crystal with a very high hardness allowing it to be even sharper. The trademark of this method is that smaller channels can be made with less tissue damage and hence can ensure greater hair density and faster recovery.
The CT in FUE-CT stands for Circulatory Treatment. The FUE-CT method in its essence is the same as the FUE method, this method distinguishes itself from FUE because it emphasizes a tailor-made approach. The principle behind it is that every person is unique and that therefore every hair transplant should be approached differently. For example, they take into account the number of hair follicles per graft, which diseases you have and how this can affect your treatment, the depth of the implantation for better blood flow and even more personalized factors. The CT principle is that all these personalized factors allow for a better result with a faster recovery. The FUE-CT method is often accompanied by a CT after-treatment, in which supplements are used which aim to stimulate blood flow and nourish the hair follicles. Finally, this method is often more expensive than a normal FUE treatment.
If an FUE treatment is not listed as FUE-CT it certainly does not imply that this treatment is in any way or shape, less than the FUE-CT treatment you get elsewhere. The treatment procedures in good clinics are often such that the steps mentioned in CT are already included as standard in the treatment without calling it an FUE-CT treatment. So it is also a bit of marketing.
Automated / Robotic hair transplant methods ARTAS and Neograft
Today, there are also automated and even robotic solutions available for hair transplants. Two examples are ARTAS and Neograft.
ARTAS is a fully robotic hair transplantation method which applies the FUE method with the help of 3d modelling and artificial intelligence. During extraction, the robot uses sensors to measure exactly where it can harvest the suitable grafts and how deep the puncture should be. The new generation ARTAS robot can also implant the hair. For implantation, the robot uses algorithms to measure exactly where and how to implant the grafts to create the most natural hairline possible. As of now, the ARTAS is mostly used just for extraction as only the newer and more expensive robots have the ability to implant the hairs. It, after all, is a new method that has yet to gain in popularity.
Click here for more information about ARTAS
The NeoGraft method uses a handheld device with which the FUE method is applied. With the NeoGraft device a surgeon can make the punctures and collect the grafts at the same time. The hairs can then be implanted according to "NeoGraft" no touch "follicle implantation". In this case, incisions are first made with the NeoGraft device, after which a surgeon can "shoot" grafts into these incisions automatically. The main advantage of this method is that it saves time.
Click here for more information about NeoGraft
Do you want to take the right step towards your hair transplant? Your Mediqle healthcare coach will help you on your way. Well-organized and completely free from start to finish!
At Mediqle we work together with only the best clinics/hospitals, both at home and abroad, and offer a lowest price guarantee. Therefore you are assured that you are not paying too much for the proper care. The Mediqle service is completely FREE for you from start to finish for contracted clinics and hospitals.
Would you like more information about hair transplants, the pros and cons of all treatments, how to start your medical journey and how to save money with our handy tips? See our hair transplant page, and perhaps we can help you too! #Mediqle