Follicular unit transplantation

    A follicular unit, a structure surrounded by dermal sleeve, contains 1-4 hair follicles and constitutes an anatomical and physiological unity with the neighboring vessel and neural net. Follicular unit transplantation was defined in 1996 and was a breakthrough in the 40-year history of hair transplantation. A follicular unit, usually containing 2-3 hair roots, is a unitary structure. Previously, there was no awareness of their existence. However, their definition proved them impermeable structures that should not be divided. This finding indicated that hair transplantations should be performed keeping that in mind. Follicular units should be meticulously obtained under the microscope and similarly implanted. Thus, hair transplantation, particularly FUE method, should be performed by plastic surgeons that possess the through knowledge of scalp(skin of the head) anatomy along with its surgery and extensive microsurgery experience.

    Follicular unit extraction method is essentially a process of harvesting follicular units. The method involves the removal of the follicular unit without any incisions or sutures. Extraction of the units is performed with specifically designed needles of various diameters and tips. At Hairplast (the hair transplantation unit of Derma-Plast Plastic Surgery Center), FUE method is great care while receiving help from assistants. In Hairplast ,use Follicular Unit Extractor which is a needle of less than 1-mm (0.7mm-0.9mm). An application for international PCT certification of the needle has also been filed. In transplanting the hair, it is possible to implant 60-80 follicular units (120-160) hair roots per cm 2

    Prior to the extraction of follicular units, the hair in the donor area is shortened to the length of 1 mm. The donor area and implant area are then locally anesthetized. The needle is held closer to the scalp so that the lumen points at the middle of the hair and is inserted as far as 6-7mm at the growth angle of the hair and then pulled out. Therefore, the hair is cut out along with follicle and surrounding microscopic tissue in a cylindrical shape. It is then pulled out gently with a micropenset and the follicular unit is removed by extrication from the loose floor. After harvesting of follicular units by this method, they can be implanted with facility through much smaller holes inflicted on the hairless area.

    1. There is no need for incision and suturing in the donor and implant areas. The punctures of less than 1-mm diameter(0.7-0.9 mm) in the area where the roots were removed will heal in a few days without any scars.

    2. The hair roots can be obtained from any side of the head, not just from the back. In fact, when needed, body hair like chest hair can also be removed and implanted into the head. The hair roots removed from the head can also be implanted to the other areas of the body (e.g. moustache, beard).

    3. An interval of 2 days between the sessions will be sufficient. There is no need to wait for months for the second session. 4-8 sessions can be carried out every other day. In every session, about 600-800 graft (FU) can be obtained. In each graft, there are usually 1-4 (rarely 5) hairs.5 sessions=3000 graft=6000 hairs.

    4. The diameter of follicular units is less than 1 mm; thus, they can be easily implanted through the small punctures in the implant area, which means a denser and more aesthetic transplantation. In transplanting the hair, it is possible to implant 60-80 follicular units (120-160) hair roots per cm 2 .

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