FUE is a relatively new technique whereby individual 1-3 haired follicular unit grafts are removed from the donor area at the back of the scalp, 1 at a
time, using very small 1.0 mm circular punches. The benefit of this technique is that the traditional scalpel used in taking out a donor strip
is not used. The resulting hole when a 1mm punch is used is so small that the hole does not need to be sutured and will heal with a very small scar.
Some physicians market this procedure as , ‘Scalpel – less and scar less’. This is misleading since a scalpel is used, not a straight linear scalpel as
is used in the more traditional strip excision method, but a circular scalpel (biopsy punch), in stead. The skin is still cut and a scar is still
made. It is just a very small scar. To be fair, the scar from the traditional scalpel is also very small, if done properly. A benefit of FUE
is that there is the possibility of shaving the hair on the scalp right off, if the patient wants a shaved head at some future time. However a very big
downside is that in young men with ongoing male pattern hair loss or in men with pre-existing male pattern hair loss, in order to get enough hair using
the FUE technique thousands of holes need to be removed from the back of the scalp, the procedure can take 1-3 days, and the entire back of the scalp
needs to be shaved. If a patient requires 1, 2 or 3 large sessions requiring 1000 – 2000 follicular unit grafts per session , then as one can imagine,
the back of the scalp will begin to look very moth eaten, and scars will most likely be seen when the hair is shaved.
Dr Cotterill’s opinion of FUE is that it is a very nice technique to be offered in certain select circumstances. But FUE is not appropriate for full, large sessions.
Dr. Cotterill will offer this technique, in addition to the traditional strip excision technique, in the following circumstances:
Proud supporter of:
Dr. Cotterill is the immediate past president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
Board of Directors of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery
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