Follicular Unit Excision (FUE), formerly called Follicular Unit Extraction, is a method of extracting, or “harvesting,” donor hair in a follicular unit hair transplant procedure. In FUE hair transplant surgery, an instrument is used to make a small, circular incision in the skin around a follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue. The unit is then extracted (pulled) directly from the scalp, leaving a small open hole.This method of donor harvesting, removing follicular units one-by-one directly from the scalp, is what differentiates the FUE hair transplant from a traditional Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), where the donor hair is removed from the scalp in one thin, long strip and then subsequently dissected into individual follicular units using a stereo-microscope
This process is repeated until the hair transplant surgeon has harvested enough follicular units for the planned hair restoration. This process can take one or more hours and in large sessions, may be accomplished over two consecutive days. The donor wounds, approximately 1-mm in size, completely heal over the course of seven to ten days, leaving tiny white scars buried in the hair in the back and sides of the scalp.
FUT involves extracting a strip of hair-bearing tissue from the patient’s donor area before subdividing this into individual grafts that are implanted into the patient’s recipient area. The scalp is then closed using stitches that are removed in the days following the operation. The extraction of a complete strip of tissue constitutes the main difference between the FUT method and the FUE and DHI methods, both of which involve the individual harvesting of donor grafts. Compared with these other, more modern, transplant techniques, FUT involves a more intensive operation which requires a higher level of intervention and has a longer postoperative recovery period. It is also pricier