What is follicular unit hair transplantation?
Follicular unit transplantation is a hair-restoration technique that provides an ideal solution for hair-loss problems, including androgenetic alopecia (hair loss of genetic origin).
The procedure consists in harvesting follicular units of hair from areas on the head where there is permanent growth and transplanting it in balding or thinning areas. A microscope is used to harvest follicular units, which are not visible to the naked eye.
Hair follicles are harvested in small strips, which leaves a slight scar that is, however, easy to conceal.
A new technique: follicular unit extraction
A new technique, called follicular unit extraction (FUE), is now available. In this procedure, hair is not harvested in strips; instead, it is extracted one by one using a microscopic punch.
This technique is more costly, but leaves no scarring.
What results can I expect from follicular unit hair transplantation?
This is a minor operation that provides a durable solution to hair loss and natural-looking results.
A few weeks following the procedure, transplanted hair will grow permanently. You can cut your hair however you like and even colour it. Transplanted hair does not require special care.
What happens during the procedure?
The procedure is performed using a local anesthetic. Sessions can last up to four or five hours. Generally, the patient is seated and can watch a movie to pass the time.
First, the surgeon removes a strip of skin from the back of the patient’s head where there is dense and permanent hair growth. The strip of skin is divided into hundreds of follicular unit grafts, which are then individually transplanted into balding or thinning areas of the head.
The procedure is not painful but patients will feel a tingling sensation when the anesthetic is administered. The harvesting portion of the procedure leaves a slight scar that can cause moderate pain in the days following the operation. The pain, however, can easily be controlled with pain medication.