In the case of a follicular unit extraction (FUE), the follicular units are taken one by one on the occipital and occipitoparietal area. This is done by a disintegration of the dermis that surrounds the capillary stem. Through a gentle extraction method, the hair follicle is released.
On the other hand, in the case of a FUT (follicular unit transplant), also called strip technique, an entire strip is taken from the donor zone situated only in the occipital zone. This band has nearly 1000 grafts. It is not necessary to shave the sampling area, only the receiving area will need it.
The size of the trephine
The trephine is an instrument used in surgery to pierce the bones and is also used for samples in the context of hair surgery. In the case of an FUE, the size and quality of the selected bit are of particular importance. A thinner bit (0.95 mm ideally) can generate a smaller injury on the sampling area. Thus, this operation performed on the donor zone will not be visible. Only experienced surgeons have the control of such a fine trephine. It should be noted that a practitioner who masters the FUT is not necessarily competent for an FUE.
The characteristics of the sample
When the FUE technique is used, the grafts are more fragile, which affects the chances of success of the intervention. Indeed, the sampling method causes the detachment of the protective tissues surrounding the hair follicles.
Moreover, the number of follicular units that can be extracted is of the order of 3500 at most, compared with 4000 to 5000 units in the case of a FUT.
The “typical patients” of an FUE
The FUE technique is recommended for patients who do not wish to leave an apparent linear scar or those whose wounds are more difficult to heal. Young patients who do not require significant treatment or whose donor area is not sufficiently provided also have an interest in turning to this method. If a Norwood V or VI, classification stages of baldness, has been diagnosed in the patient, the FUE technique is the right solution.
Genes and postoperative effects
Although both techniques require local anesthesia, the FUE method is known to be painless even after the anesthetic effect has dissipated. On a scale of 0 to 10, the pain is estimated between 0 and 1. However, depending on the client’s sensitivity, this pain may be slightly greater.
In the case of a FUT, a feeling of traction can be felt as soon as the effect of the anesthesia stops acting. This impression may last for a few days and the patient may even be numb several months after the procedure.
After the FUE technique, crusts fall between 8 and 10 days after the procedure. The scars are not visible to the naked eye. It is essential to take a closer look to realize that these are tiny points. This method is ideal for those who prefer to have short hair.
The retraction of the sampling areas becomes almost invisible after a while, but this period varies according to each individual. This fast result allows considering a new intervention 6 to 12 months after a first FUE.
In the case of a FUT, the scar is presented linearly to the back of the head. It is always possible to hide this scar by using the trichophytic suture or trichophytic closure. This involves making subcutaneous points and a small intradermal overlock allowing the hair to grow back into the scar.