Hair loss is a common issue that can happen to both men and women, and it not only affects the way one looks, but also how they feel about themselves. Many individuals struggling with hair loss find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that their hair isn’t quite as thick as it once was, or they look in the mirror more and more and see their once youthful and full hairline is receding fast. Hair loss and hair thinning can cause great anxiety and worry for many individuals, especially those who are unsure if there is a long-term solution.
The board-certified plastic surgeons at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY have a solution for both men and women in the Long Island area seeking a way to restore their hair and attain the full, thick hairline they once had. Follicular Unit Extraction (also known as FUE) is a revolutionary hair transplant surgery that has been game-changing in the area of aesthetics. It is a minimally invasive hair restoration treatment that can restore hair loss and result in a long-lasting outcome that patients can see and feel for years to come.
What is FUE?
FUE is a minimally invasive hair restoration (or transplant) surgery that uses advanced robotic technology to locate and track hair follicles and extract them with precise accuracy and control. The technique involves using a very small (0.8mm – 1.0mm), rounded “punch” instrument to remove individual hair grafts. Because the back of the head has a hair zone that normally does not experience hair loss, it is most often where the donor hair is taken from. After the follicles are harvested, they are then precisely transplanted to the front, side, and top of the scalp where hair thinning and hair loss has occurred. Once the follicles have settled into their new area on the scalp, the result is a fuller, thicker head of hair with a newly defined hairline. The results can be life-changing for patients. FUE requires no incisions, leaves no scars, looks and feels natural, and can last a lifetime.
What about FUT?
A similar hair restoration process known as follicular unit transplant (FUT) also exists, but the main difference between these two procedures is how the hair is harvested. Instead of tiny punch hole grafts taken from the back of the head, FUT uses the known “strip” method that has been around for a long time. This procedure requires one large linear strip taken from the back of the scalp. Due to the size of the harvested area, this procedure can result in scarring. It is more invasive and requires sutures. While FUT still has a place in the hair restoration space and can lead to a nice outcome where thinning once existed, FUE has become a popular choice for both Long Island, NY surgeons and patients.
What happens during the treatment?
Most patients who undergo FUE find the experience seamless. The scalp is numbed prior to treatment and patients are made to feel comfortable in the treatment chair as the process begins. During the extraction process, tiny punch hole incisions will be used in order to remove the hair follicles from the scalp. Each removal is known as a graft and typically contains between 1 - 4 hairs. These “dots” that remain on the back of the scalp from where the graft was taken will look normal again once the hair grows back, generally within about two weeks. The area of the scalp that is receiving the follicles is then prepared. Tiny incisions are placed in this area with a needle and then the hair follicles are transferred into the incisions. The goal is to get as many follicles as possible to survive the transplant in order for them to flourish in their new location. Location, depth, angle, and other aspects are considered when completing the transplant so that the new hair looks as natural as possible. This process is repeated multiple times until the desired result has been attained.
Who can benefit from this procedure?
Long Island area men and women can benefit from this procedure. Men that are noticing pattern baldness are good candidates for this procedure, along with women who have thinning hair. Other potential candidates include patients that have lost hair due to a scalp injury or burn. Patients that are experiencing hair loss due to medication (such as chemotherapy) or have widespread hair loss that exists throughout the scalp would not be good candidates for this procedure. If a patient does not have enough donor hair required for a transplant then they also might not be able to move forward with this procedure.
What are the results like?
Your new hairline will be noticeable immediately following the procedure, but it will appear swollen and require time to heal. On the first day after treatment, small scabs that resemble the size of a pinhead will be visible in the area where the hair follicles were transplanted. These scabs typically go away within about a week. The donor site where the hair follicles were taken from will likely appear back to normal about 10 days after the procedure. During the recovery period, the newly transplanted follicles enter a “resting phase” that can last several months. It is common for the transplanted follicles to fall out. Many patients become worried when they experience this, but is is a normal part of the healing process. The follicles are healthy and alive under the skin. For a while, patients will look just as they did before the procedure. Soon after, in the weeks and months to follow, new hair will begin to grow in the transplant area. This is the most exciting part and time period for FUE patients!
Results can vary, but typically most patients experience similar growth patterns within the first year:
Within 3 - 4 months after the procedure, new hair growth begins
About 50% of the newly transplanted hair begins to grow by 5 - 7 months
Most patients will experience about 80% hair growth by 9 months
It takes a full year and up to 18 months for all hair follicles to complete the growing process. When this occurs, the areas where hair loss or hair thinning once existed will appear fuller, thicker, and widespread.
If you are experiencing hair loss or have thinning hair and are ready to take measures to restore and regain your hair, please give our Long Island area plastic surgery office a call to learn more about FUE. This is a revolutionary procedure that can provide long-lasting results and transform your hair by creating new growth and making it appear fuller and thicker. Contact Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY today to take the first step to a new hairline, along with a new outlook on life.