FUE hair transplant technique involves the basic 3-step procedure for extracting individual hair grafts from the donor zone. It is performed using, a number of instruments that can have manual, automated, motorized, even robotized mediums. However, the choice of instrumentation is subjected to the surgeon’s credibility, while patients are advised to concentrate on their expectation from the surgery.
After an initial consultation at Advanced Hair Transplant Clinic, it is assessed whether the patient is suitable for an FUE hair restoration surgery. Qualified patients are given a print out copy of pre-operative instructions at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. The surgery usually takes place in morning shift.
Patients are encouraged to bring their own choice of movie, music or comic book only to kill time during the surgery; patients can also opt to sleep through it all with or without oral sedatives.
Once the patient arrives for the hair transplant surgery he/she is attended by our staff, at Advanced Hair Transplant Clinic who make sure that the patient is comfortable, since patients often feel tensed and uncomfortable at the day of the surgery. Patients are revised the pre-determined procedure, and are answered if there are any further queries.
Before beginning the surgery, the surgeon marks the recipient area for the desired coverage and the donor area is also marked. Optional oral sedatives are given that helps the patient feel relaxed. Photographs will be taken for before after images.
In the FUE technique, the entire back of the scalp is shaved, from the nape of the neck to expose the 1-5 follicular units to the magnified vision. The scalp is injected with a local anaesthesia intra-muscularly. Vibrating injections are used to reduce pain. Once the scalp is numb, the graft extraction begins.
The only difference between an FUT and FUE hair transplant is the technique of harvesting the donor hair. The traditional FUE technique involved the 2-step procedure, which was done using fine micro punch to separate each follicular unit from the fatty tissue of the scalp skin, and sort of digging it out with another punch. However, surgeons had major difficulty in sustaining the hair follicles from being damaged or transected, with even the gentlest traction. Hence, an additional 3rd step is utilized that completes the FUE graft extraction technique.
Step 1 – A punch is used, that is sharp or dull regarding how tight the patient’s scalp is. If the skin is too thick and hard, a sharp punch is used and if it is soft a dull punch is used to score the fatty tissue of the epidermis till the erector pili muscle around each follicular unit. A perfect round incision or coring path is made around each follicular unit to loosen or isolate them.
Step 2 – Fine blunt tipped forceps is simultaneously used to hold the loosened follicular unit along with the little amount of fatty tissue. With a slight and dexterous twist of the forceps called traction, the hair graft is gently pulled out separating it from the epidermis. This way each 1-5 hair follicular unit is extracted one by one until the desired quantity of donor hair grafts have been harvested. A pinprick hole is left in place of the hair follicles that appears like tiny specs of red and heal as soon a hole caused by a needle heals (2-5days), there will not be any virtual scarring.
The 3 – step procedure is a further extension of the 2-step procedure that is accompanied by a 3rd step called Follicular Isolation Technique or FIT. The step is slid between the 2 steps of scoring the scalp and plucking the hair graft out. This step involves restricting the penetration of the punch beyond the targeted depth in the scalp skin and the possibility of the hair grafts inside the epidermis to be transected by the punch. Since the surgeon cannot see the graft that is inside the skin, the FIT helps add more precision and control.
After scoring the epidermis, a dull punch is used to broaden the hole a little. Meanwhile a fine forceps is used to hold and isolate the hair graft by twisting it gently, instead of digging it out before being plucked out of the skin.
The 3-step procedure is the fundamental goal, with all kinds of FUE instrumentation since a greater number of hair grafts can be yielded with minimal transection.