Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a modern and effective hair transplant procedure that has revolutionized the field of hair restoration. This technique is widely recognized as the go-to treatment for patients suffering from androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as male or female pattern baldness.
The process is repeated until the surgeon has harvested enough follicular units for the planned hair transplant. The small open holes left from the extraction are left to heal over the next several days, resulting in tiny white scars scattered throughout the donor area.
The extracted follicular units are then prepared for transplantation. Meanwhile, the recipient area is numbed with local anesthesia. The surgeon makes tiny recipient sites in the balding areas using a fine needle-point instrument. The follicular units are then placed into these sites, where they will grow into healthy hair-producing follicles.
FUE is also less invasive than the strip method. As it doesn't involve the removal of a strip of scalp, sutures aren't necessary. This generally results in a more comfortable post-operative experience and a faster recovery time.
FUE procedures also tend to be more time-consuming due to the meticulous nature of harvesting individual follicular units. This often makes the process more expensive.
FUE transplants have a high success rate, and most patients report high satisfaction levels. However, like all medical procedures, it carries a degree of risk, and not all transplants will be successful. Patients should also bear in mind that hair loss can continue in non-transplanted areas, which may require additional procedures down the line.
Hair Transplantation for Gender Dysphoria
Hair Transplants for Transgender Women
The process is similar to traditional hair transplant procedures. For transgender women, the surgeon might lower the hairline and round out the corners to create a more traditionally feminine hairline. It's essential to note that hormone replacement therapy (HRT), commonly used during transition, often results in some natural hair regrowth. Therefore, surgeons may suggest waiting until the full effects of HRT are visible before proceeding with a hair transplant.
The techniques used for hair transplant in transgender women are the same as those for cisgender men: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The choice between these two methods will depend on the individual's hair characteristics, the size of the area to be covered, and personal preference.
Hair Transplants for Transgender Men
The transplant procedure for facial hair usually employs the FUE method due to its precision and the fact it leaves minimal scarring. Post-procedure care is critical and requires careful cleaning of the transplant area. It's worth mentioning that hormone therapy in transgender men often stimulates some facial hair growth. Like with transgender women, doctors may advise patients to wait until hormone therapy has taken full effect before deciding on a transplant.
Hair transplantation can significantly contribute to gender transition, helping transgender individuals align their physical appearance with their gender identity. As with any medical procedure, potential patients should have thorough consultations with experienced medical professionals. This ensures they are well-informed about the procedure's benefits, risks, and expected results. It's crucial that the chosen surgeon understands the specific needs and goals of transgender patients, and can deliver results that enhance their transition process.
What is NeoGraft?
Benefits of NeoGraft
- Less Invasive: The Neograft system eliminates the need for a scalpel, stitches, and staples, which are often required in traditional strip method or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). This results in less discomfort and a quicker recovery period for the patient.
- No Linear Scarring: One of the most significant advantages of Neograft (and FUE in general) is that it leaves no linear scar, making it an excellent option for patients who wish to wear their hair short.
- Greater Precision: The Neograft device allows for precise extraction and placement of hair follicles, which can lead to more natural-looking results.
- Efficiency: The automated system can handle a larger number of grafts at one time compared to manual FUE. This makes it possible to treat more extensive areas of baldness in fewer sessions.
Limitations of NeoGraft
- Operator Dependent: Despite its technological advancements, the outcome of a Neograft procedure is highly dependent on the skill and experience of the operator. A well-trained and experienced professional is vital for a successful transplant.
- Cost: Neograft procedures can be more expensive than traditional FUE due to the cost of the technology.
- Availability: Not all clinics offer Neograft as an option, as it requires specific training and a substantial investment in equipment.