FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant is a minor surgical procedure to treat hair loss. Like the name suggests, FUE involves the transplantation of healthy hair follicles from donor areas on your own head to balding areas. Unlike FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation), where entire strips of the scalp are harvested from the donor area, FUE extracts and harvests individual hair follicles for transplantation. Because of this, FUE is a minimally invasive surgery that does not leave conspicuous scars post-surgery, as compared to FUT.
What is FUE Hair Transplant?
The experience of getting an FUE hair transplant at The Clifford Surgery
A thorough consultation with our doctor is essential when getting a FUE hair transplant. Your medical history, state of hair loss, preexisting conditions as well as your genetic predispositions will all be discussed in depth.
The entire process of an FUE hair transplant takes between 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the treatment area. For more serious degrees of hair loss, this surgery can take up to 8 hours! This is to ensure that each individual follicle is handled with care and transplanted quickly, accurately and precisely into the target areas for the most desirable results.
The doctor and hair technicians will make punch incisions on the donor site and use special tools to extract the hair follicle in its entirety. The entire follicular unit will be pulled out and placed aside. The hair grafts are then harvested and prepared before being carefully implanted into the target areas.
It is important to note that for male and female pattern baldness, you may need more than one FUE hair transplants over your lifetime to maintain a healthy head of hair. The frequency you will need to go for FUE hair transplants will determine on your degree of hair loss as well as the success of the previous surgeries.
There is no major downtime associated with an FUE hair transplant procedure. You will be free to resume most of your daily activities within 2 to 3 days of discharge. However, you are discouraged from undergoing vigorous exercise or water sports for at least two weeks after the procedure is completed.
Side effects encountered during a FUE hair transplant procedure is generally minor and will heal up in the two weeks following the procedure. Side effects might include but are not limited to:
- Bleeding and bruising of the scalp
This is a very common side effect and should not be cause for alarm. FUE hair transplants are considered to be much less invasive than FUT hair transplants. Bleeding should be minor and heal up within 2 weeks.
It is important to not scratch the newly transplanted hair follicles as they have a chance of falling out during the healing process. Also, scratching introduces bacteria to the treatment sites, which can lead to infection.
- Folliculitis (infection)
When the hair follicles become inflamed, this is known as folliculitis. These infections can be treated with an antiseptic lotion or cream. If the infection becomes too serious or does not clear out, please contact our clinic immediately for our doctors to attend to you.
Immediately after the procedure, you will be able to notice increased thickness and density around the transplant area. Over the next two weeks, the wounds around the transplant area will heal and scab over, eventually falling off. Your newly transplanted hair will thicken and grow over the next 2-4 months. It takes up to a year for the transplant area to achieve the same natural condition as the rest of your scalp.
After a FUE hair transplant, it is important that your scalp recovers well.
- It is recommended to sleep with your head at a 45 degree angle for at least three nights after the procedure is completed. This will reduce the chance of swelling.
- Avoid alcohol for at least a week after the procedure.
- Painkilling medication will be provided to be taken for the first two nights after to ease any discomfort.
Specific instructions will be given to you from our clinic to guide you how to wash your hair post-transplant. You should avoid washing your hair in the first 3 days after the procedure.
Unfortunately, hair follicles cannot be transplanted from another person. The follicles are very delicate and will not survive in when implanted into another person.