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What is the Risk of Scarring with Follicular Unit Excision (formerly Follicular Unit Extraction)(FUE) Hair Transplant Surgery?

2/15/2008 9:57:19 AM

Question:

I've been suffering from male pattern hair loss and am considering hair transplant surgery. What is the risk of scarring in Follicular Unit Excision (formerly Follicular Unit Extraction) (FUE)?

Answer:

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the benefits, risks, and limitations of follicular unit excision (FUE) / follicular isolation technique (FIT), one of which is about donor scarring. Though some hair restoration clinics seem to market FUE as a scarless procedure, this is simply not true. Follicular unit extraction does leave a small scar where the hair follicle was removed. The appearance of the scars will depend on several factors including:

  • The hair restoration patient's natural hair density: The less hair density, the greater the chance of revealing the donor scars
  • The number of follicular unit grafts extracted: Despite the online hype of an extremely high quantity of a seemingly unlimited donor hair supply, it is still finite. Therefore, the more hair grafts extracted, the greater the chance of the scar showing through the donor hair
  • The length the hair transplant patient wears their remaining donor hair: Though in some cases, the FUE patient can cut their hair extremely short, the shorter the hair, the greater the chance of showing evidence of donor scarring.
  • The hair replacement patient's physiology: how the patient heals plays a huge role in the overall appearance of the donor scar
  • The type and size of the extraction / isolation instrument used: The larger the follicular unit extraction tool, the larger the scars will be
  • The skill and experience of the hair transplant surgeon: Anytime balding men and women undergo surgery, it is highly important to select a highly skilled and experienced hair restoration physician who has produced consistent positive results. Surgical tools in the hand of the inexperienced can be scary and increase unnecessary risk factors.

In the hands of a world renowned hair transplant surgeon who is highly skilled and experiences with follicular unit excision, these risks will be minimized because the hair transplant doctor will take all of these factors into consideration. Be sure to research more about the benefits, risks, and potential problems with follicular unit extraction (FUE).

All Articles by Bill Seemiller

Bill is the managing publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and The Hair Loss Learning Center. He is 4 time hair transplant patient and has over 15,000 helpful posts on our hair restoration discussion forum. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Master’s in Christian Counseling. In addition to his work in helping hair loss experiencing men and women finding the best hair transplant surgeons, he helps people with various addiction and mental health related issues in his free time. He enjoys weight lifting, kickboxing, movies, researching conspiracy related topics and spending time with his family.