FUE hair transplant is also known as follicular unit extraction. This is a relatively new method of hair transplantation that offers a less invasive means of harvesting hairs from the donor site. The basic technique is to use precision tools to harvest the hairs one follicle at a time, and then plant them into tiny slits in the balding areas. This differs from the follicular unit transplantation (FUT) method in which a strip of hair is removed from the donor area and then the follicular units are harvested out of the strip.
As with any medical technique there are pros and cons to the FUE hair transplant method. One obvious benefit to this method is that it does not leave a large scar on the donor area. That is not to say that FUE is completely scar free, but the scars that it does leave are much easier to conceal. For many patients, this is a huge deciding factor when choosing their desired method of transplantation. Another benefit to this technique is that it is much less invasive than other methods. Typically patients can resume strenuous activity shortly after their surgery, and healing occurs very rapidly.
One of the disadvantages of the FUE method is that it is easier to damage the follicles upon extraction, and therefore the process is less efficient than FUT. The reason for this is because a small cylindrical punch is used to separate the hair and surrounding tissue from the scalp. If the punch is not aligned perfectly, it can cut off the bottom of the hair follicle as it punches the area out. This damages the hair and weakens its chances for survival. Another disadvantage is that the entire donor area must be shaved before the procedure. For some people this is a major issue, and for others it is not a major problem.
In general the FUE hair transplant method is less efficient than FUT. It is much more difficult to harvest an adequate amount of hair for large procedures. The surgery typically takes much longer and is therefore more expensive than other methods. With that said, many patients still prefer this method due to the fact that they are not willing to have a large scar on the back or side of their head. The pros can outweigh the cons in certain circumstances.
Typically an FUE procedure is recommended for people who do not require a large amount of work. This is usually a younger client who may still be considering the possibility of shaving their hair short at some time in the future. The benefit of having much less noticeable scars is a major factor in the decision between hair transplant techniques. As with most medical situations, each case is different and much be evaluated separately.
If you are considering a FUE hair transplant it would be wise to contact one of the doctors who perform this procedure to discuss it with them directly. Many of these professionals can even make an assessment of your hair over the internet. All you have to do is send them some pictures and they will let you know if you are a good candidate for FUE.