WHAT IS FUE ?
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a method of extracting, or “harvesting,” donor hair. The surgeon uses a Cole punch instrument to make a small, circular incision in the skin around a follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue. The unit is then pulled directly from the scalp, leaving an exceedingly small open hole of 0.8mm – 1.2 mm.
This surgical process repeats until the hair transplant surgeon has harvested enough follicular units for the planned hair restoration. This process can take one or more hours. Extensive sessions are accomplished over two consecutive days. The donor wounds, approximately 1-mm in size, completely heal over 3 to 7 days. All that remains are tiny white scars buried in the hair in the scalp’s back and sides, almost undetectable.
The creation of recipient sites and the placing of follicular unit grafts are essentially the same in both FUE and FUT procedures.
The difference lies in the donor area’s appearance and the quality and quantity of grafts obtained.
Follicular Unit Extraction is an instrument and user-dependent procedure. Therefore, the type of tool used for this procedure, and the surgeon’s skills and experience significantly affect its outcome. The development of increasingly better extraction instrumentation has closely paralleled the advances in the procedure.
Dr. Woods initially conceived the use of direct extraction to harvest follicular units in Australia as the “Woods Technique.” However, he did not disclose the details of his procedure. The technique was first described in the medical literature by Drs. Rassman and Bernstein, in their 2002 publication.
FUE hair transplantation continues to evolve as more physicians learn about this procedure, gain experience with it in their practices, and offer improvements to the technique.