FUE Hair Transplant
FUE or FOLLICULAR UNIT EXTRACTION or SCARLESS HAIR TRANSPLANT
These are all different names given to the same procedure.
The basic difference in this method as compared to the old “Strip Method” is that there is no long linear scar at the back of the head. No strip is removed and hence “NO STITCHES” !!!!
The follicular unit of hair which may contain 1/2/3 or rarely 4 hairs are removed in whole and transplanted to the recipient area. There is not cutting of the scalp or the grafts, thereby minmising graft loss.
The advantages of FUE as compared to FUT or Strip Method are:
1. No long linear scar and hence pain is less and so is the healing time
2. Can cut your hair short and scars aren’t seen
3. At any given time about 20% follicles in an area are dormant which are not seen and in the strip method these dormant follicles are discarded which is a loss
4. “Cherry Picking” – when harvesting follicles, we choose and take follicles with 2-3 hairs hence increasing the density of the recipient area even with lesser grafts
5. Even if any grafts are damaged during harvest, the roots are still inside and the hair will regrow, so – MINIMAL LOSS of precious hair follicles.
6. Can do an “ANAGEN SPECIFIC” harvest where only the young and robust hair follicles are harvested to give you the best results.
7. Since the graft quality and sizes are more uniform, packing closer is easier.
The procedure of anaesthesia is the same except that the time for which you have to lie in a face down position is a bit more.
Pre operative instructions:
1. If you have dandruff, use KZ/Arcolane/Scalpe Shampoo daily for 3 days before surgery.
2. If you have any Medical Problems inform the doctor; do not take any drugs before surgery without informing the doctor.
3. Relax; avoid exertion the day before surgery.
4. Take easily digestible food: Dal, Rice, Rasam, Sambar and vegetables-avoid spicy food.
5. Avoid smoking/Alcohol, for a week before surgery.
6. Take a good night sleep:
On the day of surgery:
1. Reach the center by the time informed to you; do not be late.
2. IMPORTANT: Do not come on empty stomach. COME ON A FULL STOMACH.
Have lunch/breakfast depending on the time of arrival.
3. Wear comfortable loose fitting pant and shirt with buttons, don’t wear t-shirt.
4. Surgery will take about 5-8 hours.
5. You may travel back in auto/car/taxi but not on two wheeler, you cannot drive after surgery when you go back to home, nor can sit on pillion.
After going back:
Please note that hair transplantation is a very predictable surgery; all postoperative events are already informed to you, so there is no need for any anxiety.
1. Have light food. Don't drink alcohol or smoke
2. Take medicines as per the prescription. All capsules to be taken after food or glass of milk-not in empty stomach.
3. You may watch TV/Listen music.
4. Avoid exertion.
5. Avoid Jerky movements of head.
6. Go to bed early.
7. Use soft pillows. You may lay on the back of head.
8. If you feel pain take 1 additional cap of Ultracet, but with a glass of milk.
After removal of bandage:
Note that moisture is very important for grafts; So wet the hairs both in donor and recipient(grafts) either by spray or wet pad of water; don’t be hesitant to put water; water should be clean; mineral water or boiled cooled water; you may add a small pinch of salt to the water.
Do wetting as often as you can (2-6 times) for the first 4 days.
Don't disturb the grafts by rubbing / combing. Rest of the scalp may be cleaned by baby shampoo if you wish; otherwise water is enough
Postoperative swelling :
This may appear in 5% of patients on the fore head which may come down to eyelids on day 4/5. If so do not worry, it will disappear in ½ day.
Apply ice cubes as follows.
a. Take ice cubes.
b. Keep them in plastic ziplock pouch and keep it on the swollen areas. If you do not have ice, take wet cloth in cold water.
c. Keep the ice pack o the swollen area for 5-7 minutes for 4-5 times for 2 days.
Hairs may start falling by 2 weeks. Do not panic, the roots are firmly in place. Some times, you may see whitish material sticking on to roots; don’t worry about it. They will start growing by 3-4 month; you will see full results in 9 months.
Apply Minoxidil lotion twice a day 1ml and take tablet Finasteride after 1 week for one year (if prescribed).
Minoxidil may cause some dryness/dandruff, use a conditioner.
NOTE: Some patients are too anxious to clean grafts; so they may see grafts with greenish brown material sticking to skin; this only needs proper cleaning. Note that after 7 days, rubbing is allowed.