What Is Automated Follicular Unit Extraction and Hair Transplantation?

The following is a detailed overview of “state of the art” permanent, no incision, no suture and quick recovery hair restoration. Future blogs and videos will focus on specific topics.

Many patients have benefited from the modern, tried and proven “state of the art” Automated Follicular Unit Extraction and Transplantation (AFUE&T) technology. This automated technology and methodology is considered the “gold standard” in permanent hair restoration. This well established and time proven automated technology and this technique provides:
– a permanent solution to hair restoration
– no long scar
– no sutures
– pin prick sized donor size
– minimal “down time”
– accomplished using just local anesthesia

Doctors and patients alike are becoming or have been aware of the advantages of Automated Follicular Unit Extraction and Transplantation (AFUE&T). When performed performed on a regular basis by a highly experienced team and trained hair restoration specialists the final appearance is natural, permanent and highly satisfying to all involved.

What is a Follicular Unit Graft?

A follicular unit graft is a tiny living unit composed of natural and individual hair(s) containing: hair bulb, hair shaft and external hair, associated hair muscle, nerve and blood vessels, surrounding hair supportive tissue, most often contains one to three hairs, but occasionally four hairs.

Where are the Follicular Units obtained from?

The back and sides of the scalp are genetically and hormonally resistant “privileged” hair that are not associated with hair loss. Therefor these hairs will act as where they were obtained (harvested/donor area) will act and grow hair as where they were obtained.

How are the Follicular Hair Grafts Obtained?

How the follicular units are extracted is quite different. The Follicular Units are extracted by:
The (older non automated method) Strip Method: Surgically and manually excising a strip of scalp skin containing hair (requiring sutures, a long scar from ear to ear and linger recovery). We refer this as macro harvesting. The Automated Follicular Extraction (FUE) method: minimally invasive (pinholes requiring no sutures) in which the hair units are individually extracted using “state of the art” technology (no suturing,no long scar, this quicker recovery). We refer to this as micro harvesting.

How are Follicular Unit Hair Prepared?

Once obtained the actual follicular units are processed:

Macrografting Preperation:
This older method (and seldom used) of macro harvesting and transplanting ‘plugs’ 4-6 millimeters in size. The punch grafts consist of up to 15-18 hairs. A punch is used to place the graft. We refer to this older (and not very often) used technique as macrografting.
The results often look like corn rows” of hair.

Micrografting Preperation:
Utilizing our modern microscopic Follicular Unit Harvesting and Preparation the individual actual follicular unit grafts are prepared for grafting using a binocular a stereomicroscope and loupe magnification. Using this specialized microscope and loupe magnification results in the ability to perform a enhanced and meticulous graft dissection resulting in preserving the integrity of the follicular while removal all unnecessary tissue. Thus allowing for a better and more reliable graft incorporation. With this careful trimming of excess tissue, the follicular unit remains intact and allow the grafts to be kept as small as possible. This allows for smaller needle sized at recipient site so that individual follicular unit fit comfortably and with a natural appearance.

While the micrografting process is more time consuming, tedious and delicate. However this micro dissection technique results in a smaller (pinprick holes), faster healing, natural appearing and individual follicular units. However the additional time and effort, is well worth it: the results are noticeably superior with a more natural and near Invisable donor area.

Transplanting/Implanting (grafting) Follicular Unit Hair Grafts

Before starting the the hair restoration procedure using the modern automated follicular unit extraction and transplantation (AFUE & T), Dr. Hardesty will personally meet with you. Based on your hair restoration needs and your pre balding photos he will mark your donor area, design your hair line, decide on what density is needed and the angulation of the transplanted hair follicles are all critical factors in achieving a natural appearance.

The former day old “plug” hair transplant techniques resulted in a unnatural appearance and often “odd” look. Using the modern Automated Follicular Unit Extraction and Transplantation (AFUT &T) the final result should be natural and essentially undetectable.

The hairs of the scalp grows at different angles. These angulations define as the natural appearance of your hair. To ensure the proper angulations, Dr. Hardesty will place the transplanted hair at the appropriate angle to give a natural, undetectable appearance. When the transplanted hair is skillfully and artistically placed at the proper angle, the appearance is natural and aesthetically pleasing.

After the follicular hair units have been harvested, processed and sorted the implantation is begun. There is much more involved in then just “plugging” in the hair units. The formers day old “plug” hair transplant techniques resulted in a unnatural appearance and often “odd” look. Using the modern Automated Follicular Unit Extraction and Transplantation (AFUT &T) the final result should be natural and essentially undetectable.

Follicular unit hair grafts are then placed into precise, tiny, pin prick sized holes. Thus the insertion sites are optimized to heal quickly with a natural appearance and only almost Invisable microscopic marks/healing sites. This minimally invasive technique facilitates a speedy recovery and a superior cosmetic result.

The hairs of the scalp grows at different angles and have different density patterns. These angulations and density define your hair line and natural appearance of your hair pattern. To ensure the proper angulations, Dr. Hardesty and his team will individually place each the carefully prepared transplanted hair units at the appropriate angle(s) that will result a natural, undetectable transplanted appearance. In addition the density of follicular hair units is taken into consideration and great care is taken to “blend” the existing and transplanted follicular hair units.

It is mandatory if frontal hair loss has occurred that a natural looking and individualized approach is undertaken for each patient. Most often single follicular hair units are placed in a pattern of natural appertaining rows mimicking the normal density and angulation. As the transition begins towards to the top of the head the transplanted follicular units will be a mixture of single, double and a few triple grafts.

When the transplanted hair is skillfully and artistically placed at the proper angle, density and spacing, the final appearance is not only permanent but natural in appearance and aesthetically pleasing.

Are Multiple Transplant Sessions Needed?

The goal of follicular unit graft placement is for a natural appearance and hair restoration. For most patients, only one hair restoration session is all that needed. However depending on many factors 2 or more sessions may be necessary to yield a completely satisfactory cosmetic result.

We here at Hair 911, under the direction and supervision of Dr. Hardesty will try to reach your hair restoration in one session. By incorporating the modern and state of the art automated follicular extraction and translation technology and utilizing a whole team of highly trained and experienced hair restoration specialists allows harvest and transplantation of “large volume” follicular Hair units in a careful, effective and efficient single session. Thus large volumes of 2,500 to 5,000 follicular units can now be transplanted in a single session. Some refer to this as a “mega session”. These “mega sessions” not only takes more time but a well coordinated experienced team with highly tuned skills.

Why the Automated Follicular Hair Extraction and Transplantation (AFUE & T) superior to the strip method?

The significant advantages to Follicular Unit Extraction and Transplantation is:
– No incisions
– No sutures
– Faster healing because there is no long incisions from ear to ear
– The ability to harvest multiple (micro harvest) individual hair units over a larger area
– Place these tiny (micro grafting) into very small recipient sites pinprick size holes (sized 0.6-1.2 mm in width)
– Results in minimal trauma to the surrounding skin and blood vessels allows the hair transplant specialist to safely transplant literally thousands of grafts in a single session and complete the hair restoration process without multiple sessions.

One Goal, Many Options

The most important factor to consider for your procedure or treatment is seeking the opinion and services of a skilled, experienced and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who are experts in techniques. The Imagine Plastic Surgery team uniquely provides the full array of both non surgical and surgical alternatives thus filling our motto of “One Goal, Many Options.” For over 30 years Dr. Hardesty, an award winning, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, has proudly been serving Riverside and San Bernardino counties of the Inland Empire and the communities of Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Upland, Corona, Chino Hills and Redlands. For over 30 years Dr. Hardesty and the Staff of Imagine Plastic Surgery have provided comprehensive Cosmetic Plastic Surgery services and procedures to Riverside and San Bernardino counties of the Inland Empire and the communities of Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Upland, Corona, Chino Hills and Redlands.

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