So, what is FUE?
In a nutshell Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair is harvested through small circular incisions over a considerably larger area of the donor zone leaving tiny, round, white scars. FUE can be done with manual punch, with motorized hand devices (SAFE, Ugraft, WAW, Trivellini, Smartgraft, Neograft) and ARTAS robotic (limited in harvesting hair follicle and area around donor grafts).
The main difference between FUT hair transplantation and FUE hair transplants is that in FUT the surgeon removes a strip of donor skin from the scalp tissue which to extract individual follicular units to be transferred to the areas of hair loss, whereas in FUE individual follicular units are excised directly from the scalp.
FUE was meant to replace the “classic” follicular unit transplantation (FUT) technique. This procedure was done by taking an entire piece of skin or scalp along with the surrounding hair and follicles and transplanting the skin on the target area.
FUE has become more popular than FUT because it’s less likely to lead to a “hair plug” look, where sections of skin or hair don’t match the surrounding hair growth or areas. It also won’t leave a large scar like FUT does.
The best candidate for a FUE hair transplant is someone with thinning hair or balding who still has new hair or has enough hair nearby to use for a body hair transplantation too.
You may not be eligible for a FUE hair transplant if you don’t have enough healthy or thick hair to give fue hair transplantation to the thinning or balding area.
Fue Hair Transplant
FUE hair restoration surgery also allows the harvesting of other body hair from the chest, back, arms and legs. Hair harvested from the body are used hair transplanted as fillers to increase the density and only used when the donor area is poor or it has been depleted by prior FUE hair transplants.
The complete recovery time for FUE hair transplant surgery should be around two weeks. Dr. Kelemen uses hyperbaric chamber sessions to speed up recovery. This usually cuts down healing time significantly. During the hair transplant recovery period, it is advised that you avoid strenuous activity, sweating, raising your blood pressure, alcohol, and tobacco as much as possible. All hairs will regrow from the two transplanted hair follicles within 4 to 5 months strip surgery.
What type of tools does Dr Kelemen use?
All hand-held motorized devices have their own particular advantages, but it usually boils down to punch size and how the hand-held device operate i.e. does it rotate, vibrate and oscillate or a combination of these or just one.
Dr. Kelemen for FUE has: ARTAS Robotic, WAW and Ugraft. ARTAS robotic is limited in its harvesting area so if a smaller surgery is required ARTAS can be an option. For larger surgeries where the doctor has to tap into all available donor hair and area in the donor site scalp, she uses either the WAW or the Ugraft. The patient is given options and the doctor will recommend a device depending on the skin type (hard or soft) and hair type (curly, straight, fine hair, coarse hair).
Is the ARTAS faster than a human?
With experience comes speed, so a new doctor will take longer with a manual motorized device then with the robot for sure! In Dr Kelemen’s case, she is as fast and sometimes faster than the Robot but it depends on many factors that impact both the doctor’s and the robots speed, like patient may move around, grafts get stuck in the punch to the particular hardness of the scalp skin. As a side note, if the doctor only offers FUT and FUE via robot, that may be because the doctor is not versed enough to do manual FUE and relies on the robot to do his job! (that should be a red flag) Doctors tend to let technicians operate the robot without his presence in the operating room (another red flag)! Doctors always advertise that they are part of the essential part of the surgery! Well, in Dr Kelemen’s humble opinion, being present in the whole surgery is essential! At her clinic, she is part of the surgery from the beginning to the end! One thing that sets her apart is that she can actually do a small surgery, 1500 grafts and less, by herself! Dr. Kelemen is often copied but never duplicated!
To settle this question: it depends on the experience of the doctor and how well versed they are with the manual motorized device.
FUE via manual motorized has exploded in popularity due to its versatility and small punch sizes which help the patient heal faster with virtually undetectable donor site!
FUE is the new rave for sure! Among the many devices out on the market the leaders are: Ugraft (US), Cole (US), WAW (Belgium) and Trivellini (Paraguay). Results with these devices will vary depending on the skill of the physician using them, like the old saying goes: “A tool is a good as the person using it!”
Having returned from another conference in Europe, I can convey to you that FUE via manual motorized device was voted KING over other devices/types of procedures! Live workshops have supported this by demonstrating the speed and quality of grafts harvested when the procedure was done by an experienced physician!
In conclusion if you are looking for a hair transplant surgeon, is FUE better than FUT? The jury is still out on that! Old timers love FUT because according to them it gives you max number of hair grafts done, true, BUT it also leaves a nice scar that the patient might feel uncomfortable with later. The scar size depends solely on how good your doctor is in stitching! FUE on the other hand leaves virtually no marks (depending on the punch size used for extraction), heals quickly and provides and allows the harvesting, even harvesting, from all donor area. In other words, FUE is taking over the hair transplant field and younger doctors prefer the FUE method!
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