Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Restoration
Hairlines change as we age, in some, sooner than others. The cause of this change in men is due to some areas of scalp hair being more sensitive to the effects of testosterone than others . Treatment usually starts with topical and oral medications to increase hair growth (Minoxidil), block the effects of testosterone (Fenasteride and Dutasteride) or increase the flow of blood by blocking muscle contraction (Botox), thus decreasing the amount of time the hair is subjected to testosterone. Hair in the back and sides of the scalp is typically not sensitive to the effects of testosterone and thus can be transplanted to the areas of loss, restoring a more normal contour.
Originally this was done with "plugs" of hair that were harvested with a punch and gave an irregular, noticeable, cobblestone appearance when transplanted. The next step was harvesting hair by taking a "strip" from the scalp and dissecting the hairs apart under a microscope and transplanting them individually. This gives a good result but the resulting scar at the harvest site can be visible when the hair is worn short. In the best circumstances it is a faint line, but it is always there.
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FUE or follicular unit extraction was developed to address this problem and to provide a less invasive method of harvesting individual follicles without the need to use a scalpel to make an incision. Basically, a very small rotary tool is used to core out individual hairs over an area the size of a CD, leaving behind enough hair so that it is unnoticeable. The individual hairs are then transplanted by a technician exactly where they are needed, following the same angle as the original hair that was lost. Anywhere from 800 to 1500 hairs are done at one sitting. This allows patients to be back at work sooner, have no visible scar at the donor area and to look natural. Hair can be harvested from a donor area twice without noticeable thinning of the donor site. This is all done in the office over a 4 to 6 hour period under local anesthesia. Patients typically listen to music, watch a movie on an iPad or sleep.
Women can also benefit from this technology. Because they typically wear their hair longer, the shaved area in back can be covered by the longer hair above allowing women to go in to public after a few days of recovery with remarkably few signs of having had surgery.
Come in and talk to Dr. Jabs (who has had the procedure himself) to learn more and to see if you are a candidate.
Read Dr. Jabs blog
on Hair Restoration.