FUE (Follicular unit extraction)
FUE is one of the most effective and advanced surgical methods for permanent hair restoration. Avoiding linear scarring, it takes hair transplant surgery techniques much further and becomes one of the least invasive procedures. Being almost a scarless surgery, FUE’s worldwide popularity mostly stems from its promising results and relatively short healing process.
The advancements in FUE technologies is making the dream of nearly no visible scarring a reality. This is the most impressive advantage of follicular unit extraction (FUE); unlike more invasive methods such as the FUG / FUT / FUSS transplant techniques in which the hair follicles extracted by a strip method, in FUE, the permanent grafts are removed and implanted manually as individual follicular units, and as a result of these process, scarring on the scalp is largely avoided.
Considering the delicate nature of the process, it is important to note that acquiring a natural look and protecting the donor area depends on the accurate transplant provider, that is to say that the success rate of the operation primarily requires a specialized and professional clinical team.
How is FUE operation performed
Before beginning the FUE procedure, the patient will be examined by a number of professionals to determine that this type of operation is the one that he/she needs. After the evaluation, informed about the transplant process, advantages and disadvantages, the patient will be ready to undergo the follicular unit extraction.
As a first step, surgeons will identify the donor areas, and for the most possible natural-looking results, there will be a personalized planning process. After the non-surgical preparations are completed, the scalp will be shaved in order for the surgeons to get a clear vision of the donor area; otherwise, there may occur several complications as a result of over-harvesting, such as telogen effluvium.
Extracting the hair follicles
Before the extraction of the hair follicles begin, your surgeon will clean and benumb the donor area, using a local anesthetic agent, so that the patient won’t feel pain. Considering your individual transplant needs, he/she will decide on an extraction technique between two options: sharp or blunt dissection. Preventing hair follicle transection, sharp punch dissection method inhibits the depth of punch insertion and thus, increases the consistency of the grafts. On the other hand, the blunt punch technique makes use of some kind of a dull tip which is less prone to transect the follicles. While placing the follicles into the center of the punch, this tip enhances the depth of the dissection level and decreases the manipulation, and ultimately the graft extraction requires less force.
Using a powerful microscopic magnifier, the surgeon operates with a one-millimeter in diameter instrument, such as a small punch or forceps, and extracts each individual follicular unit from the donor area at one time. Multiple steps are needed to complete the extraction process: firstly, in an attempt to isolate the graft, a circular incision around the follicle must be done. After then, the grafts are extracted directly from the donor area via the aforementioned instrument and set aside until the placement process. It is critically important that these grafts are maintained in optimal condition; therefore, they are split into groups depending on the number of hairs within each follicle, and soaked into an isotonic saline solution.
Once the extraction procedure has been completed, the small holes created at the donor area are left to heal – approximately for a few days –, and the patient is asked to sit on an upright position for the implantation process. At the end of the extraction procedure, your doctors will have harvested 2,400 to 5,000 grafts.
As the last step of the follicle extraction, your doctors will consider the optimal positioning of each follicle in order for reaching the desired results, based on your unique hair loss pattern.
Being in constant change and development, medical science gives birth to more innovative techniques at any moment. Naturally, hair restoration procedures also receive their share of novelty, and they become more and more crucial for many people, since these restoration techniques create satisfactory results in terms of physical health as well as mental health, considering the fact that acquired sense of beauty attach great importance to the aesthetic appearance of one’s.
One of these mentioned developments is the Sapphire FUE hair transplant technique. This advanced technique is performed with special instruments produced from a gemstone, called sapphire, based on FUE hair transplant procedures. It is an improved application of the FUE technique. In essence, these sapphire stone blades are used to create incisions at the recipient site, and afterwards, hair follicles are implanted in these micro slits. V-shaped tip of these sapphire blades allows the operation become shorter in comparison to U-shaped steel blades, as they provide more incisions with minimal attempt and zero damage to scalp tissues. As a result, an easier procedure and more natural appearance overall.
Knowing the tool: Sapphire blades
Comprised of single crystal components, sapphire blades are a hundred times harder than steel blades, though not as hard as diamonds. Sapphire blades are able to endure long operation hours without complications, as they have high level of durability.
Exceptionally sharp cutting edge of the blades and low friction factor rate allows the surgeon to perform with minimal tissue trauma. Consequently, scarring is reduced to a considerable extent, and recovery time is diminished. As an optimal instrument for delicate surgical techniques, sapphire blades provide several advantages, such as:
Sapphire blades hold the edge better than standard surgical tools since they are harder and sharper.
Sapphire blades allow making much more finer incisions than standard surgical blades, so that the level of cell damage reduces significantly. Clean and accurate incisions speed up the recovery period and diminish the possibility of scarring.
Sapphire is a non-metallic gem, so it cannot give rise to metal ion reactivity. Sapphire blades do not affect lymph or blood systems in any way since they are inactive.
Are you a good candidate for Sapphire FUE Hair Transplant?
It is important to know beforehand if you are a suitable candidate for Sapphire FUE hair transplant; because, deciding to undergo a hair transplantation procedure does not automatically make you a candidate for the operation as there are several parameters. When you go for a consultation, your doctor will carry out the necessary evaluations and decide whether or not to go for a hair transplantation in your case, but if you wish to gain some insight before the Sapphire FUE consultation, you should consider the following factors:
If your hair loss stems from conditions such as a trauma, androgynous type of hair loss or traction alopecia, then you can opt for Sapphire FUE transplant as a hair restoration method.
As within any type of hair transplant technique, the density of your hair at the donor site is one of the most prominent determining factors regarding the Sapphire FUE. If you have sufficient number of hairs at the back your scalp, then you will be considered as a valid candidate for the operation.
The severity of your condition is not regarded as a determinant. Whether you have relatively minor hair loss or shed a major amount of your hair, you are still able to undergo Sapphire FUE operation without complications.
DHI Hair Transplant
Whether cosmetic preferences or health concerns, hair loss is a condition that millions of people struggling with, for various reasons or purposes. Fortunately, hair transplantation is a rapidly growing sector where technological and medical innovations are making the improvement of transplantation process and overall final results much more evident and remarkable, day by day.
One of the recent examples of such advancements is the Direct Hair Transplantation technique, which is regarded as an advanced follicular transplantation method. With skills of certified surgeons and latest medical equipments, DHI procedure guarantees a natural-looking hairline, providing a density as much as possible.
Direct hair transplantation is applied with an implanter known as Choi Pen, which is a very fine medical tool with a diameter of 1mm or less. It is an extremely functional tool, ensuring the perfect direction, angel and depth for surgeons to achieve desired results. As part of the procedure, the hair is removed from the donor area via Choi pen, and directly implanted to the recipient site without delay.
Understanding the tool: Choi pen
Initially used in South Korea, the Choi pen developed as an alternative approach to follicular hair transplantation with the intention of speeding up the process. It does not change the fact that follicular units still have to be carefully prepared manually, but the procedure is performed by means of a mechanical implantation device. Once loaded, the Choi pen is able to contain 1 to 4 hair follicles which are inserted into the recipient area when the plunger is pressed. A three-person team comprised of two loaders and one planter can implant up to 12 grafts per minute. Gaining control over the spacing and direction of each implant, more and more surgeons around the world is opting for this instrument as well as the overall technicalities of the operation.
Since it is a tool which provides utmost precision and speed, Choi pen increases the survival rate of the hair follicles significantly. The more they remain out of the body, the more damage they can take; therefore, Choi pen becomes one the most suitable options out there, as it allows surgeons to operate with multiple grafts at once, and the small nature of the pen enables several surgeons working at the same time.
Are you a good candidate for DHI?
DHI is commonly preferred by people who have advanced hair loss, since they require higher amount of grafts. Men who have been struggling with male pattern baldness for at least five years are also advised to undergo a DHI operation as it is the most effective restoration method for those who have advance hair loss, and also patients with no reaction to medical treatments benefits from DHI procedures. If your hair loss condition stems from any kind of trauma such as burns or injuries, you can consult a hair loss surgeon in order to learn the intense effects of DHI procedure and its capabilities on covering scars. However, it is important to note that complete baldness decreases the efficacy of the procedure, and patients who have this type of hair loss are not regarded as optimal candidates for DHI.
Another point worth mentioning is that your medical history is a critical factor on determining your candidacy for DHI operation. For instance, if you are taking certain medications with blood thinning properties, you will not be able to undergo DHI since it can aggravate the possible side effects such as bleeding.
Unshaven Hair Transplant
In Unshaven FUE or Unshaven DHI, there is no need for the patients to shave any part of their scalp prior to the procedure so that they can complete the transplantation process without anyone ever noticing that they had one. It is an extremely exquisite method of hair restoration especially for patients who are in search of a personal experience. Unshaven hair transplant provides the opportunity to have a FUE procedure while preserving the existing hairs at their normal length in both the donor and the recipient sites. Therefore, you have the chance of returning your daily life with minimal signs of a hair transplant surgery.
When undergoing an Unshaven FUE or DHI, only your donor hair follicles will be trimmed while retaining all your other hair at the same length. As a result of this, the trimmed donor hair will be covered by the existing ones, and it will be nearly impossible to distinguish the traces of the transplantation. These undetectable nature of the procedure makes it suitable both for men and women with aesthetic concerns.
Since Unshaven hair transplant is an extremely advanced technique requiring maximum skill and experience, it is executed by a limited number of surgeons worldwide. The ability to extracting follicles with minimum transection and implanting the new grafts without damaging the pre-existing hair cannot be achieved unless the team performing the surgery is the best of the best.
Are You A Candidate for Unshaven Hair Transplant?
The only way to find out if you are a good candidate for hair restoration procedure is to consult a doctor who is an expert in hair transplant surgeries. First of all, your doctor will execute a physical examination in order to find out if your hair loss is temporary or permanent. There are several tests used for determining the causes of hair loss, if the need arises. Once the cause is revealed, you will be evaluated in order to see if you are satisfying various conditions required for a hair transplant surgery such as:
The number of grafts needed for achieving the optimum results
The number of grafts which can be extracted from the donor area
Sufficient density of the hair within the donor site
Patient’s sensitivity to pain
Overall health and lifestyle
Possibility of future hair loss
How It Is Applied?
Similar to a standard FUE hair transplant, with the help of a one-millimeter in diameter instrument, such as small punch or forceps, each individual follicular unit is extracted from the donor area at a time. These grafts are maintained in optimal condition, soaked into an isotonic saline solution. Once the extraction procedure has been completed, the small holes at the donor area are left to heal, and as soon as the follicular grafts are ready, razor blades or needles of 1 mm in width and 5–6 mm in length are prepared, for making incisions at the recipient area. In DHI, the incision step is skipped and the hair placement is immediately started with a Choi pen. As for FUE, the hair grafts are strategically implanted in each cut one by one, depending on the number of the hairs within each follicle.
During the unshaven FUE and DHI procedures, certain donor follicular units that will be transplanted are carefully selected and trimmed, leaving all other hairs at their normal length. The donor FUE areas will be covered with the patient’s natural hair, and in the recipient area, the non-shaved natural hairs will be useful for concealing the follicular units that were transplanted. As the newly transplanted hairs grow harmonizingly with the existing hairs, the whole area will gain a significantly denser appearance.