Follicular Unit Extraction
Hair replacement surgery using follicular unit extraction, often called an FUE hair transplant, at our San Diego County center is a very popular option that works well for many patients. At the Hair Surgery Center at La Jolla Skin, triple board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Chaffoo specializes in FUE surgery using the advanced NeoGraft® hair transplant system.
San Diego County men and women concerned about hair loss can request a consultation to meet with Dr. Chaffoo or call our office at
This 65-year-old man later underwent a second procedure after being pleased with the results of his first treatment with 1,500 FUE grafts, shown here.
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What is FUE?
Follicular unit extraction is a precise surgical method that involves using a specially designed tool to harvest 1 to 4 hair follicles at a time. The tiny punch device is gently inserted into the scalp and extracts the follicles in natural groupings called follicular units. Those follicles are then reinserted into the balding area of the scalp. Unlike the "strip method" of hair transplant surgery, which uses a long incision to remove a strip of skin filled with follicles from the scalp, no incisions are made in an FUE transplant, and there is no linear scar. The small, pinprick wounds resulting from the follicle extraction shrink over time and become nearly invisible, even when patients wear their hair short.
The automated NeoGraft system extracts the tiny grafts using controlled, gentle pneumatic pressure. Grafts are kept in a sterile container within the NeoGraft handpiece and kept moist until they are ready to be reinserted. The NeoGraft system minimizes handling of the follicular units, significantly enhancing the chances they will thrive after being transplanted. The final step is the automated insertion of the units in thinning areas to restore a natural-looking hairline through meticulous placement.
Why Choose the Hair Surgery Center at La Jolla Skin
Our hair restoration practice stands out for its excellent results and track record of satisfied patients. Here are some of the factors that set us apart:
What are the benefits of FUE?
When performed with precision by an experienced specialist, FUE hair transplants get excellent results. The state-of-the-art NeoGraft system represents the most advanced transplant option, and patients who choose NeoGraft enjoy several benefits:
Less invasive: In the alternative method, follicular unit transplantation (FUT), the surgeon removes a strip of scalp to obtain hair grafts. An incision is made and the wound is closed with sutures or staples. The FUE method doesn't require an incision.
No linear scar: Because FUE hair restoration doesn't require an incision, there is no linear scar. Patients generally have to wear their hair longer to hide the scar that results from the strip method.
Faster healing and recovery: The less invasive nature of FUE hair transplant surgery in general leads to quicker healing and recovery. There is minimal discomfort following FUE transplants.
Minimized side effects: The linear incision from the strip method may damage the sensory nerves to the scalp causing lasting discomfort such as a feeling of tightness or numbness in the donor area. Because the FUE technique uses tiny donor areas, the potential for lasting side effects is greatly minimized.
Potential for more donor sites: In some cases, surgeons may be able to harvest follicles from other areas of the scalp, the nape of the neck, the chest, arms, or legs where viable donor hair follicles exist. This is not the case with the strip method.
Increased flexibility: Surgeons using the FUE method can "cherry pick" optimal hair grafts for specific areas of the scalp and hairline. Using the strip procedure, surgeons are limited to the follicles contained on the strip of scalp removed.