Learn More About Follicular Unit Extraction
Modern hair restoration techniques have the power to give patients affected by hair loss effective, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing results using the most up-to-date hair transplant methods. Charlotte, NC, facial plastic surgeons Dr. Andrea Garcia and Dr. Josh Surowitz are experts in the art and science of hair restoration surgery. At Dilworth Facial Plastic Surgery, we offer follicular unit transplant (FUT or “strip procedure”) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Both hair transplant techniques are a huge step forward from the plugs of years past. FUE is a minimally invasive hair restoration procedure, allowing removal of individual hair follicles from the back of the head, with transplantation of those follicles to the affected areas of baldness. With FUE, there are no sutures to remove and no linear scar in the donor area.
Dr. Andrea Garcia and Dr. Josh Surowitz are passionate about helping you achieve your hair restoration goals. At Dilworth Facial Plastic Surgery, we pride ourselves on educating those affected by hair loss and helping our patients choose the right hair restoration procedure (hair transplant) for each individual’s unique needs.
Who Is a Candidate For FUE Hair Transplant?
Hereditary loss, the most common cause of hair loss among both men and women, results in thinning and recession of hair in a predictable pattern. It often progresses from mild thinning to more significant loss and resultant bald patches. This is different from other causes of hair loss, which can range from hormonal shifts to shock to dietary imbalance. Such losses are often temporary, and hair may return given time or some adjustments to eating or other habits, with no need for a hair transplant.
A hair transplant using follicular unit extraction is ideal for patients whose loss has been confirmed as hereditary and who want to restore hair to areas from which it has permanently receded.
What Is the Follicular Unit Extraction Procedure?
With FUE, individual hair follicles are removed using a specialized system that delicately cores around each hair follicle. This hair transplant method may be performed manually or with powered devices such as the NeoGraft® and ARTAS® robotic system. It is similar to a strip procedure in that individual follicular unit grafts are removed from the back of the head and transplanted to the areas of loss. With FUE, there are no sutures to remove and no linear scar in the donor area. Patients who want to wear their hair shorter tend to prefer this method, since there is no need to cover any linear scar.
We strive to achieve natural, long-lasting results. Dr. Garcia and Dr. Surowitz work with each patient to design the most aesthetically pleasing hairline to best complement each individual’s unique facial features. At the start of the hair transplant procedure, your surgeon will examine your scalp and, with your input, mark a new hairline for a visual reference. FUE is performed in the comfort of our office under local anesthesia. Follicular units are then harvested. The total number of hair follicles harvested will depend on your specific treatment plan. Dr. Garcia and Dr. Surowitz will next make small incisions in the scalp, and the grafts are implanted one by one in a natural pattern. This is a meticulous process, so great care should be taken in selecting a hair transplant surgeon you trust to work with knowledge, experience, and an artistic eye.
Browse our gallery of patient before-and-after photos to see examples of our results. Additional before-and-after results are also available for review at the time of consultation.
Hair Transplant Recovery
Hair transplant patients will notice shedding of hair in the weeks following their follicular unit extraction procedure. This is normal. The transplanted follicles will begin producing visible new hair growth about three to four months after the surgery, and these hairs should reach a noticeably significant length in about half a year. Full results can be seen between nine to 12 months after your hair transplant procedure.
Several days of recovery time will be required following FUE. In general, hair transplant patients may shower without restriction after four to five days. Daily activities can typically resume in about a week. Detailed instructions will be given regarding post-procedure care.
Other Options for Hair Loss
As noted above, hair transplant may also be accomplished by the follicular unit transplant strip method. Patients with hair loss may also choose non-surgical hair restoration, which includes laser treatments and medications. The Dilworth Facial Plastic Surgery team will help each patient make the choice intended to yield the best possible results for their unique circumstance.