There has been a shift in hair transplantation toward FUE, follicular unit extraction, for many surgeons who perform hair transplantation. The advantage of FUE is that when the incisions are small enough. 1.0 mm or less the scar made when excising the follicular units are so small that even when the hair is very short there is no visible scaring in most cases. There have been some cases we have seen where the area is over-harvested using FUE, because the incisions are so close together or the incision is larger than 1.0 mm, that thinning and scarring become apparent.
For many patients FUE is a good procedure that is particularly useful for patients with less hair loss and can even be utilized to diminish previous linear donor scars.. The problem is that marketing, technology and occasionally greed has distorted the advantages of FUE. Device manufactures have promoted their devices as tools that virtually perform the procedure themselves and many physicians have left the actual task of performing the procedure to technicians.
At this year’s Scientific Meeting in Chicago a significant contingent of experienced hair transplant surgeons have agreed that patient’s are often not properly served by having only one option because of the physicians lack of expertise or ideology.
FUT, Follicular Unit Transplantation, is an extremely effective procedure where a narrow strip of tissue is excised. In the hands of a skilled surgeon the linear scar is still virtually invisible unless the back of the head is shaved and much more hair can be safely removed and hair grafts prepared meticulously under microscope.
Both of these procedures have a place and should be properly presented to the patient and in consultation with an experienced hair restoration surgeon so that the proper procedure can provide an excellent result.
Also at the meeting it was reported that a medical group in Turkey has been promoting hair transplant procedures for $2500 on web sites and ads on the Internet. Supposedly they move their location every few months and that non-licensed personnel performing the procedure. Remember the axiom, if the deal seems to good to be true, it probably isn’t.