Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the technique involving extracting donor hair (harvesting). A special instrument is utilised to create a little, circular incision in the skin in the region of a follicular unit to divide it from the nearby tissue. Thereafter, the unit is pulled straight from the scalp only to leave very tiny hole.
It is instrument dependent process. Hence, the tool type used has an impact on its outcome. The development of newer techniques and instruments has helped with enhanced results.
The origin of the Follicular Unite Extraction is interesting. The concept was initially conceived by Dr. Woods in Australia. It was referred to as the “Woods Technique. During that time, the details of procedure was not disclosed. The description was first described by Doctors Rassman and Bernstein in the medical literature through a publication for the year 2002 (Follicular Unit Extraction: Minimally Invasive Surgery for Hair Transplantation). It offered the description of anatomic basis, the current name of procedure, and description of FOX test utilised for harvesting etc.
Later on, the process was refined by Dr. Jim Harris via introduction of additional step involving blunt dissection to significantly minimise follicles damage (transection). The technique kept on evolving through practices the technique.
Who Needs It?
Since the procedure doesn’t leave any scar (linear), it is appropriate for those looking forward to wear short hair. Those belonging to arduous activities such as sportsperson, athletes, etc. will also benefit from FUE. It is extremely beneficial for those who have healed poorly from conventional strip harvesting. Individuals with tight scalp will also benefit from the process. It facilitates surgeons to remove hair from other parts of body than the scalp, such as trunk, beard etc.
The FUE harvesting demands a larger area to perform hefty FUE sessions. Hence, it is important for the whole donor region of scalp be shaved. This leads to a short term problem for patients related to several patients. This is quite different from FUT where strip harvesting is used and the donor incision is covered with hair. Linear incision through the FUE procedure helps patients resume arduous activities. The sportsmen can resume sports sooner post the procedure of hair transplant.
All in all, the Follicular Unit Extraction is a wonderful procedure for those who wish to have head full of hair sooner.