History of the FUE Method of Hair Transplants
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is an excellent method of hair transplantation that we’re proud to offer to our candidate patients. The only difference between the FUT “Strip” method and FUE is the harvesting portion of the procedure. The rest of the procedure is the same for both methods (making sites and transplanting 1-2-3-4 hair grafts). FUE is actually the oldest method of hair transplantation. Numerous years ago, bunches of hairs (15-20 hairs) were extracted using the FUE method and transplanted where patients had thinning. This method of “bunching” was not very advantageous since it did not produce natural looking results. Today’s FUE is an improved method of what was done years ago. Each individual graft is harvested as they grow (1-2-3-4 hairs). This allows an experienced hair specialist to then transplants the grafts in a fashion where he/she mimics mother-nature (1 hair grafts in front and groupings of 2-3-4 in mid to crown area.
Is FUE Right For Me?
Not every patient is the right candidate for the FUE method. Since this method is what we call a “blind harvest” (since we can’t see under the skin, we guide ourselves by the angle of the hair when extracted the graft), patients with very curly hair may not be the best suited since it can result in a high percentage of transection (cutting into follicle by mistake). Although Dr. Botta and his team are highly experienced in the FUE method, this doesn’t stop it from being a “blind harvest” therefore patients with straighter hair tend to be better candidates for the FUE method.
Having stated this, it’s imperative to mention there are 2 FUE equipment companies that aggressively market the FUE method on Google to everyone and there’s a reason for this. Not only do these companies make money when they sell their particular units to doctors interested in jumping into the FUE hair restoration realm ($100k – $250k), but they also charge a $1/GRAFT ROYALTY for each graft the doctor harvests (guess who pays for this…the patient!). We feel that this “mass FUE marketing” to all patients for monetary gain is not only unethical, but incredibly misleading and confusing for patients looking to make the best decision in their hair restoration process.
Instead of dealing with these types of companies/equipment, Dr. Botta uses a portable/automated FUE hand tool that allows him to efficiently harvest the grafts using the FUE method without damaging them. This not only allows for the patient to receive an excellent result, but also saves them thousands of dollars that would’ve gone to these companies
How to Choose the Right FUE Surgeon
To ensure a great result, patients need to do a good amount of research in choosing the right hair restoration specialist. With so much misleading marketing in Google and a surmountable number of inexperienced and unspecialized doctors getting into the hair restoration industry, patients need to do their due diligence in selecting the correct doctor.
Key Factors to consider:
Is the doctor you’re considering a hair restoration specialist?
Only consider doctors that specialize in hair restoration. Read their bio from beginning to end. If not much is mentioned about hair restoration, it’s a sure sign the doctor you’re considering is not a specialist. Check for before/after pictures. If the website nor the doctor shows a good number of before/after pictures, then it’s another sign they don’t specialist in hair restoration. Any specialist should have vast experience mentioned in their bio and a good amount of before/after pictures to show their potential patients (make sure these pictures are of doctor’s actual patients and not from other doctors in case they work for a national chain).
Is the doctor a board-certified surgeon?
If the doctor you’re considering is a trained surgeon, aside from being a hair specialist, it’s a great asset he/she brings to the surgery room. Common sense tells us that a family doctor won’t have the same talent as a trained surgeon in performing any kind of surgery. So if you can find a hair specialist that is a board certified surgeon…the better off you’ll be.
The FUE Experience
The following is a step by step explanation of the FUE hair restoration procedure:
- Pre-Surgery Consultation: When patient arrives, he/she meets with Dr. Botta for a pre-procedure consultation to reconfirm what the patient’s goals are and create a natural game plan to accomplish those goals.
- Surgery Prepping: Patient is taken to the procedure room where he/she changes into a medical gown and is given a mild sedative so they can relax. The donor area is then trimmed and anesthetized in order to prepare for the harvesting phase of the procedure.
- Harvesting: The grafts are then harvested using an automated ergonomic hand tool that allows Dr. Botta to safely harvest grafts. This specialized tool is light weight and ergonomic in order to allow for continuous harvesting without any deviation of quality control. Each graft (1-2-3-4 hairs) is grafted using a variety of punches in order to make sure the graft is harvested cleanly and whole.
- Site Preparation: Sites are then made (under local anesthetic) where the grafts are to be placed. Depending in the area, Dr. Botta angles the slits in the right direction so hair will grow in the correct and natural directions.
- Graft Transplantation: Each graft harvested is then transplanted. We position the 1-hair grafts in the immediate frontal area to accomplish a soft natural look and the groupings of 2-3-4 hair grafts in the mid to crown areas to give patient density.
- Post-Operative: Patient’s donor area is bandaged and we review his/her medications and healing instructions.
For more information about the FUE method of Hair Restoration