For decades, hair transplant procedures have followed one of two methodologies. FUT technology found common usage in the 1990s, but it’s since seen some competition. The more recent FUE methodology offers some distinct advantages for patients. We’re here to talk about FUE and help you understand both the pros and cons involved in employing it as a hair loss remedy.
What is FUE?
FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction, but understanding how it works means first understanding how its predecessor FUT works. Follicular Unit Transplantation involves taking a strip of your existing hair from an area with healthy growth and then grafting it onto the area that’s suffering from hair loss. In that respect, it’s a pretty effective process.
FUE, by contrast, is a much less invasive procedure, but it can also require a significantly more meticulous process. FUE foregoes the follicular “strip mining” process in favor of plucking individual follicles from the source one by one and then replanting them at the site of hair loss.
What Are the Advantages of FUE?
The biggest strength of FUE is that most people couldn’t even tell that you’ve used a hair replacement technique. FUT is known for causing scarring around the area where the hair was transplanted, and that scarring can last a lifetime. And while these scars aren’t visible with longer hair, they can be very prominent if you keep your cut tight to the skull.
Moreover, patients who have undergone FUE tend to experience a far more pleasant recovery experience. Pain, itching, and irritation is reduced when compared to the after-effects of a FUT procedure, and the recovery period takes significantly less time. You can be back at work and on your feet within a few days, and no one will be the wiser.
Is FUE Safe?
While both of the major forms of hair transplant procedures are generally considered safe, FUE is generally considered to have a lower risk of negative side effects. Since FUT harvests a lot of hair at a time, the risk for infection is higher.
What Are the Side Effects?
While FUE is safe, there are some common side effects that you might have to deal with in the immediate aftermath of your surgery as well as some rarer issues that could require more serious intervention. Fortunately, the complications in an FUE surgery are typically easy to deal with.
You can expect to experience pain, irritation, and itching at the surgery area for a few days, but it should resolve itself entirely within a couple of weeks. There might even be minor bleeding. In rare instances, surgery can lead to infections — but these represent the most serious of side effects, and they can be addressed with a prescription antibiotic.
Are There Any Advantages to FUT?
FUE is the most popular method for hair grafts now, but there are still a few points where FUT has the advantages. Because of how meticulous and time-consuming they are, FUE transplants tend to cost significantly more money than an FUT graft.
The transplant process also doesn’t tend to last as long as with FUT. While the difference isn’t huge, you may find yourself having to go back for the second round of grafts slightly earlier than if you’d opted for FUT surgery instead.
An Exciting Option for Dealing with Hair Loss
With the advent of FUE procedures, we finally have a method for dealing with hair loss that’s safe, effective, and not prone to scarring. But finding the right medical provider is still important. Make sure you do your research and find a reliable doctor to handle your FUE hair transplant.