The No Scalpel, No Strip, Minimally Invasive Procedure
Follicular Unit extraction or FUE as it is known is a relatively new technique of extracting grafts individually from the scalp. In this type of procedure a small round punch generally 0.6 to 1 mm in diameter is used to make a small circular incision around the follicular unit. These follicular units are then individually plucked from the scalp. This new procedure negates the need for a linear incision at the back and sides of the scalp with the inevitable scar that is produced.
Follicular Unit Grafting and Follicular Unit Extraction are sometimes viewed as being two totally different procedures. Follicular Unit grafting involves surgically removing a strip of skin from the back and sides of the scalp, this strip is then microscopically dissected into follicular units and these are implanted back into the balding areas of scalp.
FUE individually harvests these 1, 2, 3 and 4 hair grafts from the back and sides of the scalp. Each follicle after being extracted is examined under magnification and further trimmed of non hair bearing skin if required. And then re-implanted into tiny incisions in the balding area. So effectively once these grafts are out of the scalp the implantation procedure is exactly the same as it is for FUT.
So in effect when a comparison is made between FUE vs. FUT what is really being compared is linear strip excision (FUT) vs. individual graft extraction (FUE). As FUE does net leave a linear scar it is of particular interest for those who wish to wear their hair very short at the back and sides or plan to fully shave their head in their future.
Step by Step explanation of the FUE procedure
Advantages and Disadvantages of follicular unit extraction
For many years clients have been concerned about the linear scar that is produced by the strip excision method that is an integral part of the FUG procedure. However FUE’s primary advantage of no linear scar does bring with it, its own unique set of disadvantages.
In summary, the one disadvantage of FUG is the visible scar at the back of the scalp. However, with the advanced surgical techniques in use at our center, the reality is that over 90% of our patients have a scar that is 2mm in width or less and is easily camouflaged. This combined with the excellent and consistent growth rates of FUT means that FUT is yield equally good and consistent results.
That said FUE is a fantastic new advance and gives prospective patients an additional treatment modality to choose from.
Before and After
Eyebrows form an important part of the framework for one’s face. They are important for facial symmetry and balance and, for many people, offer a valuable aesthetic aspect to attractiveness. Those who are unhappy with their eyebrows may be self-conscious about their appearance, which may be reflected in a lack of confidence.
Causes of Eyebrow Hair Loss
Loss of eyebrow hair can occur for a number of reasons. The most common cause is over-plucking and over-shaping. This typically occurs over a long period of time, similar to traction alopecia experienced along the hairline in women who continuously wear their hair in tight braids. The chronic pulling, plucking, and tension on the hair follicles will eventually cause them to stop growing.
Other times, eyebrow hair loss is simply genetic. Some families do not grow thick eyebrows. There are also medical causes such as thyroid disease and chronic anemia. Traumatic injury sustained from an accident, such as a motor vehicle crash, may also affect eyebrow growth. These are all common reasons seen in our practice on a regular basis.
Approach to Eyebrow Restoration
We address hair loss in the eyebrows similarly to that of the scalp. There are three main solutions:
In regards to medication, there is Minoxidial to slow eyebrow thinning and help the hair regrow. They can provide favorable benefits for patients unhappy with the thickness of their eyebrows.
Those who desire a more elaborate solution can opt for a hair transplant. The procedure consists of placing mostly single hair follicles, but also strategically-located grafts which are slightly larger, in the desired area. Since every patient’s goal typically is to achieve a natural look, it is important that one consults an experienced hair restoration surgeon to perform this delicate procedure.
Following the procedure, camouflage agents such as makeup, micropigmentation (tattooing) and other cosmetic methods are helpful, but not always needed to complement the results of the procedure.