The Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE procedure involves rigorous planning and execution. Knowing more about how the entire process unfolds, may help future patients feel at ease with having to undergo hair transplant.
Following the planning process, the donor area is shaved so that the patient’s scalp can be seen better by the hair surgeon. If only a small area needs to be covered, then only a small part of the donor area is shaved. For a larger FUE procedure, the entire donor area may need to be shaved in order to achieve an equal distribution of the extracted grafts. Follicular units are extracted one by one, by using small, 0,8 mm-1.0 mm punches.
Before the actual FUE procedure starts, the patient is given local anaesthesia. This is usually a combination of Lidocaine and Marcaine, which has a more prolonged local action. Patients can ask for further anaesthetics if the initial dose will start wearing off. The injections are made around the perimeter of the scalp, which will numb the entire scalp of the patient. This removes the need for anaesthetics to be administered directly in the donor area. After anaesthesia is administered, the patient will not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
The following step is the actual extraction of the follicular units. This too, involves several steps. A first tiny, but sharp punch is used to outline the skin surrounding the follicular unit. A further dull punch is used to penetrate the soft tissue around the follicular unit, and then another sharp punch is used to sever the underlying follicular units.
The small holes left by these punches will heal within a few days. Once they heal completely and the patient’s hair grows out, the scarring will not be noticeable to the naked eye.
Hair clinics strive to provide their patients a comfortable surgical experience given that the follicular unit extraction can be fairly lengthy. The transplant of 1000 follicular units can last approximately 6 hours. The FUE procedure is a highly labour-intensive procedure, and during the extraction process, the entire surgical team must work without stopping. Several professional and highly trained nurses assist surgeons during the transplant surgery. The preparation of the grafts involves meticulous work that has to be done in accordance with rigorous specifications.
During this time, patients can choose to be awake or because they are lightly sedated, they can even sleep. For a certain amount of time, they can watch movies or TV. It is important both for the patient and for the surgical team to create a stress-free and pleasant environment. This way, the surgical team can better concentrate, and the patient will feel more at ease. If the procedure is very long, several breaks will be introduced so that the patient can go to the bathroom, drink water, stretch, eat lunch, etc.
Overall, most patients agree that the hair transplant procedure can be an enjoyable experience during which time goes by quickly. Likewise, patients feels good about being in the centre of attention and undergoing a surgery in a friendly and patient-focused environment. The painless, scar-free hair restoration is an alternative to non-surgical hair loss treatments – and now it is at an affordable cost – especially abroad. Think about Budapest, Hungary and save about 60-70% on your local hair replacement costs in the UK!