This will vary from one patient to the next and will largely depend on the number of grafts you need. However a typical procedure takes approximately 8 hours in total.
Again, this will depend on the number of grafts required in most cases. Prices vary quite a bit from one region to the next but always remember that price isn’t the only consideration. You want to be sure that your procedure is performed by an experienced and reputable surgeon.
This will depend on how severe your hair loss is. For those who have mild to moderate thinning around the crown, then it’s certainly possible to achieve a full head of hair. If you’re almost completely bald then it’s still possible to get a decent amount of coverage but a full head of hair is unrealistic.
When the new hair is first transplanted, it will fall out before it begins to grow in again. This is part of the natural growth cycle so it’s completely normal. As the months go by you’ll start to notice your hair getting thicker and thicker, with a 90% uptake rate by 10 month post-surgery.
You will certainly feel some sensations during the procedure but it isn’t painful. This is because the scalp is anaesthetized beforehand so there is no pain in either the donor or recipient area.
There are very few risks associated with FUE and it’s generally a very safe and effective procedure.
You may need to take time off work to have the surgery itself performed but the downtime is very minimal. A lot of guys are happy to go back to work the next day.
You should try to avoid any strenuous exercise that causes excessive sweating. You should also avoid wearing any tight headwear and be sure to carefully follow your surgeon’s post-op advice.
If you’ve only just started noticing your hair getting thinner then there are proven treatments to try before getting a hair transplant. Read more about the available options on the hair loss treatments page.
A Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE is a relatively new technique whereby individual 1-3 haired follicular unit grafts are removed from the donor area at the back of the scalp or other body areas, such as the chest or beard, 1 graft at a time, using very small 0.8 mm to 1.0 mm circular punches. The benefit of this technique is that a traditional scalpel is not used. The resulting hole when a 1mm punch is used is so small that the hole does not need to be sutured and will heal with a very small scar.
Some physicians market this procedure as, “scalpel-less and scar less’. This is misleading since a scalpel is used; not a straight linear scalpel as is used in the more traditional strip excision method, but a circular scalpel (biopsy punch), instead. The skin is still cut and a scar is still made. It is just a very small scar. To be fair, the scar from the traditional scalpel is also very small, if done properly. Please see the International Society of Hair Restoration position paper on: Comparison between Strip Harvesting and Follicular Unit Extraction: A Fair and Balanced View.
A benefit of FUE is that there is the possibility of shaving the hair on the scalp very closely down to a #1 or 2 razor. However a very big downside is that in young men with ongoing male pattern hair loss or in men with pre-existing male pattern hair loss, in order to get enough hair using the FUE technique thousands of holes need to be removed from the back of the scalp. The procedure can take 1-2 days, and the entire back of the scalp needs to be shaved. If a patient requires 1, 2 or 3 large sessions requiring 2000 – 3000 follicular unit grafts per session then, as one can imagine, the back of the scalp will begin to look very moth eaten, and scars will most likely be seen when the hair is shaved.
Dr Cotterill’s opinion of FUE is that it is a great technique to be offered in certain select circumstances. But FUE is not appropriate for full, large sessions.
Dr. Cotterill will offer this technique, in addition to the traditional strip excision technique, in the following circumstances:
- If a patient requires a very small session, such as to fill in a scalp scar or to fill in an eyebrow, and the patient does not like the idea of a linear (straight ) scar in the donor area.
- If a patient requires only 1 very small session and wants to be able to shave their hair down closely to the scalp.
- If a patient has had extensive procedures in the past, has only very limited donor area left, and requires a very small session to the scalp.
- Body hair transplants, whereby hair is taken from the chest to add to the eyebrows or select area of the scalp or beard.