Although the hair transplant was first popularised in the 1950s, a revolutionary technique has emerged in the last twenty years which has now become the most popular type of hair transplant procedure.
The FUE method – Follicular Unit Extraction – differs from the original FUT or Strip Method in that the donor hair follicles are grafted in such a way to leave little or no visible scarring.
The experts at London’s Wimpole Hair Transplant Clinic reveal that “The FUE method allows for fast recovery and minimal scarring, meaning that the patient can keep their hair as short as they want in the future without any scar tissue showing.”
With the popularity of short hairstyles, this distinction is important to many hair transplant patients. The advantage of faster recovery times is also more desirable, especially for people needing to get back to work quickly or for those in the public eye.
With the FUE procedure being relatively new in the field of hair transplant surgery, many people aren’t aware of how the surgery is carried out and how long it takes. So, if you’re considering a hair transplant and are curious about the FUE method, here are some insights into the timescales, as well as some other frequently asked questions.
How long does an FUE hair transplant take?
The FUE procedure is a day surgery that uses short-term anaesthetics, meaning patients can be back home to the same day.
The procedure itself is made up of two parts; the extraction of the donor follicles, and the implanting of grafts.
- Extracting the donor follicles
Either by hand or using a special electronic punch, the surgeon makes an incision around the hair follicles to extract the follicular units.
These harvested grafts are then examined using microscopes, and categorised into grafts containing one, two or three hairs.
This extraction process takes between one and three hours. The length of time varies depending on the number of grafts required and also the expertise of the surgeon.
As with any hair transplant, a team of skilled technicians accompany the surgeon. These technicians work on preparing the grafts, enabling the surgeon to work on the harvesting and implanting procedures.
- Implanting the grafts
Using only the best donor hair follicles, the surgeon meticulously implants the prepared grafts, one at a time, into small slits in the scalp.
The hairline and area of scalp requiring the grafts are agreed in consultation with the patient and marked out before the surgery begins.
The implanting procedure can take anywhere between one and four hours, again depending on the scale of the transplant area and the surgeon’s skill.
How long is the recovery period?
Rest and post-operative care are recommended in the first few days following the surgery. After three days, you will be invited back for a follow-up consultation and your surgeon will advise on aftercare matters and assess your recovery.
Patients can usually return to work within a few days of the procedure.
How does it take to see results?
You will see the results immediately, as the newly transplanted hairs on the day of the surgery represent the end-result. However, these initial hairs will fall out over the following weeks and this is a natural part of the process. The follicles will then grow new hairs that will be permanent.
You can expect to see the final hair growth results within six months of the surgery. Some clinics offer hair-stimulating treatments as part of the transplant process, such as laser treatments or PRP, and these can help to speed up the growth of new hair.
How long do results last?
A hair transplant is permanent. The transplanted hairs taken from the back of the head are less susceptible to the hormones that lead to hair loss, so you can expect your results to last – provided you follow the recommended aftercare practices and maintenance advice.
With minimal scarring, fast recovery times and impressive results, it’s no surprise that the FUE method has become the preferred option for many people considering a hair transplant. And as the technology continues to advance, this procedure is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable to more hair loss sufferers.
So, if you feel that your hair loss issues are beginning to affect your appearance and confidence, the FUE day surgery may be the hair transplant solution you have been looking for.