Dr. Steven Gabel offers his patients a wide array of hair restoration treatment options and strives to stay on the cutting edge of modern medicine while doing so. One of the most sought after surgeries in the field is follicular unit excision (FUE, formerly Extraction), which can cosmetically benefit many patients suffering from hair loss or hair thinning.
Our goal here is to cover the basics about FUE and which patients can benefit the most from having the procedure. It is important to remember that each individual patient is unique and not every case should or can be treated exactly like another. Only a thorough consultation with a qualified doctor can determine your best course of action for having a hair restoration procedure.
What Is Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)?
Follicular unit excision, or FUE for short, is the technique where individual follicular units are removed from the scalp one at a time using a tiny, round instrument. The result are small tiny, round scars in the scalp where each follicular unit was extracted. FUE stands in contrast to follicular unit transplantation (FUT), also known as the “strip” method, where an elliptical incision is made in the back of the scalp and all the follicular units are removed at once. The result is a linear scar in the back of the head where the strip was removed.
Each follicular unit graft contains 1, 2, 3, and sometimes 4 hairs. The advantage that FUE has over traditional strip surgery is that while patients will develop scars with either procedure, the FUE method allows patients to keep their hair shorter without noticing the scars, while patients who had strip surgery may need to keep their hair a little longer to hide the scar. Also, some patients do not like the idea of having a long incision and scar in the back of their head – these patients are also ideal candidates for the FUE technique.
The goal from both procedures is a natural appearing result.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Follicular Unit Excision (FUE formerly Extraction)?
The ideal candidates for FUE are prospective patients who have good density in their remaining hair at the back of the head and like to keep their hair short. They should have stabilized their hair loss (usually with help from medications, vitamins, or low light laser therapy which Dr. Gabel goes over during his comprehensive evaluations) by the time they choose to undergo surgery. It’s important that patients have realistic expectations about the surgery and what it can achieve, as well as the results.
It is not unusual for FUE procedures to be smaller sessions than FUT (strip) procedures, and it may require more sessions than FUT to achieve the desired cosmetic results.
Is Scalp Laxity An Issue With Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)?
Some patients have very tight, non-mobile scalps which makes it very difficult to remove the hair via the strip procedure. These patients are ideal for the FUE technique since as the follicular units are removed individually irrespective of how tight a scalp is.
Is Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) Useful To Correct Scalp Scarring?
Absolutely, FUE tends to be an ideal surgery for people who have scalp scarring from prior procedures. In these specific cases, Dr. Gabel is able to extract several hundred grafts and insert them into a prior strip scar to hide it. Additionally, FUE is often called upon to help blend in hair transplant procedures such as mini grafts and plugs.
Contact The Gabel Center
To learn more about what’s best for your individual case as a hair loss sufferer, please reach out for a consultation with Dr. Gabel. The staff at the Gabel Hair Restoration Center are experienced medical professionals committed to providing each patient with a positive, personalized experience to achieve the best possible results.