By Dr. Upavan Pandya, Aesthetic Medicine
Hair transplant is a surgical procedure that is used to move hair follicles from one location in the body to another. The part from which the hair follicles are taken is known as the “donor site” and the location where it is moved to is called the “recipient site”. Patients who undergo hair transplants often come across the terms FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction).
Follicular Unit Extraction is a procedure which involves the singular extraction of each hair follicle without any removal of strip of tissue. Random removal of hair follicle takes place which causes minimal and unnoticeable changes in the donor area. Fewer amounts of hair are transplanted as the follicles are removed one at a time which makes it beneficial for the removal of lesser hair as compared to the traditional FUT procedure.
In FUE, singular removal of hair follicles is done using specialized equipment that generally consists of a needle which has a diameter less than one mm. The needle is targeted at the base of the hair follicles. At this spot, a circular incision is made. Another instrument, similar to tweezers, is used to dislodge the hair follicle from the scalp.
Post- Surgery Management:
Stretches are not needed in Follicular Unit Extraction. Additionally, there is almost no post procedural discomfort. Since the occurrence of any scar is absent, healing time is generally less. However, puncture marks which have a diameter of 1 mm or less are common. These marks heal by themselves within 3 to 7 days. It takes three to six months for the hair to look natural once again. The initial scars heal quickly and daily activities can be resumed the very next day.
Perspective of the surgeon:
- Lesser manpower, when compared to FUT, is needed i.e. a single doctor with a maximum of two assistants can run a clinic.
- Lesser equipment is needed.
- Graft preparation is minimal.
Perspective of the Patient:
- Can sport short hair.
- Less post-operative recovery time.
- Microscopic scars in the donor site are nearly invisible.
- Body hair can be used for added density only in this technique.
- Can be used to cover pre-existing scar of surgery.