FUE- Follicular Unit Extraction-Harvesting the Healthiest Grafts
Today I want to discuss the tool I use in performing Follicular Unit Extraction otherwise known as FUE. Every person’s scalp is different and therefore it is important that we do not approach what we do as Hair Transplant surgeons as a one size fits all approach. Along those lines, I recently started using a sharp tip punch with serrated edges as an option for my FUE cases. Prior this the only punch I had found that produced good results was a blunt tip punch. I will still continue to use the blunt tip as an option in some cases that do not respond well to a sharp tip punch, but I can truly say that these special sharp tip punches with serrated edges allowed me to harvest FUE grafts that are completely on par with strip harvested and dissected grafts, which continue to be the gold standard by which all hair transplant grafts are measured by. In the photo below you can see the perfectly intact FUE grafts and the large hair grouping that are present in these grafts harvested with a 1mm sharp serrated punch. In one side you can see the single hair grafts that were dissected out of the larger grafts in order to restore the patient’s hairline. In the other corner you can see the total of transected grafts which amounted to under 50 grafts. Based on this case of 1656 grafts harvested total the transection rate was approximately 3% which is incredibly low for any sort of FUE case, manual or automated. If you look closely at the grafts you can also see the amazing consistency of the grafts which you do not see with FUE grafts obtained with automated machines. I have showed this photo to a number of highly respected hair transplant surgeons and they have stated that these FUE grafts look just like dissected strip grafts which is the biggest compliment one can give to an FUE graft.
In summary, every individuals scalp and anatomy are different and it is imperative that we as Hair Transplant surgeons have many useful tools at our disposal in order to give each and every patient the best result possible.
All the best,
Marc Dauer, MD