Hair loss, while common, can be distressing. When nonsurgical methods are not effective to slow, stop, or restore hair loss, there are surgical options that can transform your scalp. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sarat Sabharwal offers hair transplant surgery using the revolutionary ARTAS system, which is an FUE (follicular unit extraction) technique. This advanced technology is used to track and extract hair follicles with precise accuracy and control. The surgical process involves using a small rounded instrument or “punch” to remove individual hair grafts. These grafts are safely prepared and then transplanted to the area where thinning and balding has occurred. While the FUT (“strip method”) procedure produces excellent results, FUE is often preferred because it is minimally invasive, it does not involve the use of a scalpel or stitches, and it does not leave scars. Call Beautiful Orlando today and learn more about this outstanding hair restoration treatment.
Dr. Sabharwal is proud to offer his patients the ARTAS FUE system, considered one of the most advanced, automated hair restoration systems in the field. In a very methodical manner, individual hair follicles are delicately removed by a suction assisted handpiece. These follicles are then safely collected and stored in a temperature-controlled, sterile, holding solution and remain hydrated and active while awaiting implantation. No cutting or scalpel is needed, thus both the extraction location and transplant location do not require stitches.
FUE is recommended for patients of all hair textures, types, and color who do not want an invasive hair transplant approach. It is performed on those with advanced hair loss, as well as those who wish to increase thickness to thinning areas. Patients that wear their hair short will also benefit from this approach. Dr. Sabharwal can also perform FUE to help achieve aesthetic improvements to the scalp for patients who have visible linear scarring, such as from a previous FUT hair transplant procedure.
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What to Expect
FUE offers excellent outcomes, but understandably, patients may feel apprehensive about having this surgery. During the consultation, Dr. Sabharwal will provide as much information as possible so that each patient feels confident in the decision-making process. The majority of our FUE procedures start in the morning directly inside our Beautiful Orlando treatment room and end in the late afternoon — the length of time varies depending on the volume of hair being transplanted. Patients are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and are able to watch TV or listen to music during the procedure.
The Donor Area
During the consultation, Dr. Sabharwal will go over the aesthetic goals of the patient, and will provide an approximate number of grafts that will need to be extracted to obtain the desired results. The donor area where the hair will be extracted is located in the back of the head, as this is an area where hair growth is constant and permanent. The donor hair, removed in follicular units, typically includes a group of about one to four hairs. The hair removal process is performed in a meticulously randomized pattern, so that the hair around the extracted grafts will grow back and camouflage the virtually undetectable, flat “micro-dots” left from the ARTAS FUE procedure. Once transplanted, each hair follicle will grow in its new location.
The Transplanted Area
The transplanted area, or recipient sites where the donor hair will be relocated to will be analyzed by Dr. Sabharwal. He will determine the correct angle, depth, orientation, and density required to achieve natural results. The number of grafts and/or number of procedures required to achieve the patient's desired look depends on individual patient characteristics, such as degree of hair loss, donor hair quality and texture, and follicular density.
PRP During Surgery
PRP, or platelet rich plasma, is a concentrated mixture of powerful growth factors that is produced from a small quantity of the patient’s own blood. Dr. Sabharwal bathes the extracted hair grafts and injects this concentration of growth factors into the treated areas to help with tissue repair, healing, and hair growth.
Because FUE is minimally invasive and does not require the use of a scalpel or stitches, there is minimal post-operative pain. Most patients can return to their normal activities within 1 to 2 days. It is important to follow the specific post-operative instructions to ensure effective healing and hair growth. On the first day following the procedure, small scabs the size of a pinhead surrounding the transplanted hair follicles will likely be visible. These scabs usually go away within 7 - 10 days. Patients should expect to see the donor site at the back of the head return to normal about 7 - 10 days after surgery. A few weeks after surgery, the transplanted follicles enter a resting phase that lasts for several months, and will fall out to make way for new, healthy hair. This is to be expected. The follicles are alive and healthy under the skin. At this point, most patients will look very much like they did prior to surgery until the new hairs begin to grow.
New Hair Growth
New hair growth begins about 3 - 4 months after the procedure. By 7 months, around 50% of the newly transplanted hair begins to grow, and by 9 months, close to 80% of the hair grafts will be growing. By 12-18 months, the areas where hair loss once occurred will be filled in with thicker and fuller hair, leaving patients excited about their results.
Plan Your Procedure
- Procedure Recovery Location
How Well Does It Work?
With FUE, natural appearing hair is crafted to create life-changing, lasting results. Patients can wear their hair any length or style, as the transplants produce natural, normal hair growth. It's also important to note that hair loss is a progressive disease and that hair transplant surgery does not stop non-transplanted hair from continuing to thin and eventually bald. Therefore, further nonsurgical and/or surgical treatments may be needed to keep up with the rate of continuing hair loss.
Does FUE Produce a Scar?
FUE generally does not produce any scarring. The extracted grafts removed during the hair removal process will leave undetectable, flat “micro-dots”. These tiny “micro-dot” scars may be visible if the hair is completely shaved. You may shave your hair down to 1/8th of an inch (1 guard on an electric razor) without anyone noticing your scars.
Small graft extraction using the FUE approach offers numerous benefits, including:
- Minimally invasive without the use of a scalpel or stitches
- Precise and efficient extraction, collection, and storage of hair grafts
- Minimal post-operative pain
- Quicker recovery
- Virtually undetectable flat “micro-dot” scarring
FUE or FUT?
Regardless if a patient decides to go with FUE or FUT (“strip method"), the results where the transplant occurs will appear similar. The difference is in the graft extraction technique in the donor area. FUT does leave a linear scar so it is reserved for patients who wear their hair a bit longer.
Get a Fuller Head of Hair!
If you are experiencing thinning hair or balding and are living with anxiety over losing your hair, we encourage you to call our Orlando, FL office today. Dr. Sabharwal will provide you with a thorough consultation and a detailed treatment plan, to provide you with an effective, lasting solution.