Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a method of extracting hair in a follicular unit from the donor area of the scalp and transplanting it directly into the recipient or balding area. In the first phase of FUE procedures, an instrument called a “punch” is used to make a small, circular incision in the skin around a follicular unit, separating it from the surrounding tissue. The unit is then extracted directly from the scalp. Extraction can be accomplished using either a manual or motorized punch depending on the preference of the surgeon. The use of manual punches typically requires more skill and expertise, providing better control and often less damage to the grafts.
This process is repeated until enough follicular units have been harvested for the planned hair restoration. FUE procedures may take hours or days (depending on the number of grafts required). With mega or giga-sessions, FUE procedures are accomplished over two consecutive days. The wounds from donor extractions completely heal over the course of seven to ten days.
The method of removing follicular units one-by-one directly from the donor area is what differentiates the FUE hair transplant from a Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), where the donor hair is removed from the scalp in one thin, long strip and then subsequently dissected into individual follicular units.
During the final phase of the procedure, tiny “recipient sites” are made in the balding area of the scalp using a fine instrument. The follicular units are then placed into the recipient sites where they will grow into healthy hair-producing follicles.