FUE Hair Transplant Procedure – Steps and Guidelines
FUE hair transplant is a hair restoration technique that gives us natural results when both extracting and transplanting the hair. The procedure transfers live hair roots that are extracted from the hairy area in the back of the head into bald areas.
Contrary to the outdated FUT procedure, bistoury or scalpel is not used for FUE and stitches are not required. This means no visible scar will be left in the donor area at the back of the head. This technique gives people hair without intercepting their daily lives.
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Phases of FUE Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplants using the FUE technique go through 3 main steps:
First of all, after the hair transplant specialist diagnoses the patient’s condition, preferably all of the hair is shaved. But it may be just the donor area that is shaved at this point. Because the hair must be in 0.3 mm length in order to be extracted individually by a hair transplantation micro motor.
After that local anesthesia is applied to the “donor zone” in the back of the scalp, between the ears.
This step approximately takes 1 hour.
This phase takes approximately 3 hours. It is the step of extracting the hair follicles (roots in which hair live). The follicles are removed one by one with the aid of a robot or micro motor device.
At the edge of the micro motor 0,8-1 mm punch must be used for extraction. Hair roots should be put in a special solution in groups of 100 for you to see clearly. Following this, a break is given for food and other needs before going through the third phase.
The third step of the FUE hair transplant is opening the channels or incisions.
It also takes approximately 3 hours, but may vary depending on the number of follicles harvested. The area of transplantation is anesthetized totally by applying local anesthesia. After calculating the depth that hair roots should be in and the diameters, canals are opened to transplant the follicles. Opening the canals is one of the most important parts of a hair transplant surgery.
Why is canal opening very important in FUE hair transplant?
The step of canal opening (creating punctures) is very important because:
- Micro-cuts (canals) that hair roots will be inserted in must be in the size of the grafts. This will ensure that the hair follicles get the needed nutrition.
- Angles of micro-cuts that hair roots will be inserted in should be the same with the present hair.
- The diameter and length of the hair roots that are extracted from the donor site must be calculated. Canal openers must be personal.
4. Angles of the grafts that will be implanted must be calculated by experts. The structure of the head and the hair type of the person should be taken into consideration. Canals must be opened in a 45˚ angle to mimic the look and direction of the natural hair.
What may Cause a bad FUE Hair Transplant Surgery?
FUE hair transplant should be done cautiously and carefully, placing the importance that it deserves. When hair transplantation is not done properly, unwanted results may appear. You won’t get a natural look after an improper hair transplant and this affects your look negatively.
Hair transplantation should be done without any mistakes, or it may give bad results. If it was done improperly, there will be spaces between the hair and it could give an unpleasant frizzy look. Additionally, transplanting the hair roots in improper angles is a wrong application. This will cause the hair to grow straight and an unnatural look will appear.
Another note of importance is that the extraction of hair roots should be done cautiously. Hair should be extracted and transplanted without damaging the roots. If hair roots get damaged, that area will not grow hair and this is an unwanted condition. Existing hair may also fall off, and this is a non-reversible condition.
Another bad result of improper hair transplantation is scar formation in the area of extraction and transplantation. Normally, a linear scar is formed after FUT hair transplantation method; because, skin tissue is removed from the scalp. However, the FUE method does not leave any scars.
When transplantation is done properly, a better look can be obtained that will make patients happy.
Instruction to Follow before and after FUE Hair Transplant
There are a few instructions to follow in the days before and after your FUE hair transplant.
Below is a list of instructions and things you should know when you are planning your intervention:
Guidelines before the Procedure:
- Stop taking medications that contain Aspirin one week before the procedure as they increase your risk of bleeding. Which can make your hair transplantation last longer.
- Refrain from smoking and any nicotine-containing products such as Electronic cigarettes, at least one week before your procedure. Nicotine inhibits blood vessels and prevents oxygen-rich blood from getting to the transplanted sites.
- Refrain from alcohol consumption as it increases bleeding risks during the procedure.
- If you routinely dye your hair to cover grey hair refrain from doing that for at least three days before your appointment.
- If you are taking any blood thinners (such as Plavix, Coumadin, and Heparin) let us know. Because it may be a contraindication to your hair transplant procedure and increases bleeding.
Guidelines after the Procedure:
- To keep swelling to a minimum, apply an ice pack on your forehead for 15 minutes every hour. Do not apply it directly on the grafts and at least 3 centimetres from your hairline.
- It is expected to experience grafts falling out over the first few weeks after the procedure which is a normal process. In rare cases, you may also experience “shock loss” around the donor area. This hair along with the transplanted hair will grow in 4 to 6 months after the procedure.
- During the first two weeks, scabs will start to appear in the transplanted areas. Make sure not to remove or peel off the scabs using your nails. The scabs usually fall off by washing the head as instructed and applying a gentle massage with circular motions.
- Avoid strenuous activities of any kind for two weeks after the procedure. Too much activity can cause swelling or bleeding and loss of grafts.
- Bend at the knee instead of waist to pick up objects or tie shoes.
- Avoid sexual intercourse for one week after the procedure, as it may increase swelling.
- We will prescribe an antibiotic that you should take as directed by your doctor.
- A pain killer will be provided to be taken as prescribed by the doctor for post-operative discomfort.
- Other hair care products will be provided to you which help to accelerate the recovery process.
- Numbness may occur in graft sites. It is normal and it will usually go back to normal in four to six weeks post-operation.
- The transplanted area should be taken care of during the first 10-15 days. Avoid rubbing or extracting hair from that area. This does not prevent bathing the next day after the operation. But beware when you do this by avoiding rinsing the water firmly on the implanted grafts. Because grafts are still in the process of stability and need to be treated with more care. This is not only limited to the transplanted area but even it includes the donor area (from which the hair is extracted).
- Refrain from smoking including E-cigarettes and Hookah, at least a week or 10 days after the surgery.
- Avoid dying and shaving your hair 4-6 weeks post-operation.
- Remember that a balanced and healthy diet means a healthier and stronger hair. Thus, it is advised to include fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins in your diet.
Does fue hair transplant leave a scar on the donor area at the back of the head?
No. One of the main qualities of FUE technique is that it doesn’t leave any visible scars.
Does fue hair transplant last forever?
Yes. The transplanted hair which is taken from the donor area is resistant to the hormone that causes hair loss. Therefore, the transplanted hair lasts forever.
Is fue hair transplant the best technique?
For many years the FUE technique has been accepted as the best method for hair transplant due to its promising and optimal results.
Can fue hair transplant fail?
If the procedure was conducted by a highly skilled hair transplant specialist there is no chance of failure. However, if it was done at an unprofessional clinic or if the patient doesn’t abide by the instruction, in this case, risks exist.
How many fue hair transplants can I have?
Depending on your degree of baldness and the abundance of hair in your donor area, you may have up to 2 or 3 sessions.