FUE surgery is similar to FUT surgery. The only real difference is the fact that individual hairs are transplanted as opposed to a few hairs at a time. This gives the procedure a few unique considerations for the surgeon. These hairs are taken from the donor site (usually the band of hair around the head that is not affected by male pattern baldness) and placed in the balding areas. The reason why this surgery has found favor is the fact that there is no need to make a long incision like with the FUT procedure. Instead, a micro needle is used to punch out the individual hairs. This means there is no need for many technicians to slice up the individual hairs from the strip which can be quite labor-intensive. The hairs are taken straight out of the donor site and placed into the recipient site. This is the ideal surgery for people who like to keep their hair short as the effect of the placement is 99.999% natural-looking. It’s also perfect for those people that have previously had the strip procedure performed.

Some people respond a lot better to this type of extraction than others. This is because some people have higher levels of follicular damage with the FUE procedure, making them better candidates for the FUT procedure instead. Of course, the less damage that is done to the hairs, the more hair will re-grow, leaving you with a denser head of hair.

A test has been developed to determine your level of potential damage and it’s called the FOX test. This will immediately reveal which procedure will most likely be best for you. FUE is often used to help disguise the effects of older hair transplant procedures that have left a nasty scar.

Before the surgery, the whole area is given a local anesthetic after which the surgeons get to work extracting the individual hairs with their microscopic needles one by one. This obviously makes it a very time-consuming, tedious and of course, somewhat expensive undertaking. Then the recipient area is given the same numbing treatment and up to 800 hairs are placed in this balding area in one session. Since this is usually not enough to help thicken one’s hair, multiple sessions are usually required to do a good job. The other unique thing about this procedure is the fact that body hair can be used in the recipient site as well. However, the results from this can vary and it’s usually used somewhat sparingly.

Brian Johnson MD

Brian Johnson MD

Dr. Brian Johnson is a professor of dermatology. He has conducted numerous research studies about hair loss and it's effects on the human psyche. Dr. Johnson has written for Maclean's, Motherboard, the National Post, and the Huffington Post.

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