Jesse E. Smith, M.D., F.A.C.S
Dr. Jesse Smith, a Fort Worth hair transplant specialist, can perform this procedure on an outpatient basis. With hair transplant surgery, Dr. Smith can give the patient back the full head of hair that has become thinner with time.
Dr. Smith is Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He is one of a small group of surgeons that has achieved Dual Board Certification in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Head and Neck Surgery.
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FUE Hair Transplant or Follicular Unit Extraction
There are several medical devices used to extract individual hair follicles from the back of the scalp (donor area). Neograft™ is a “brand name” device used to extract single follicular units from the donor area. We use a Neograft machine for our FUE methods.
NeoGraft is the first FDA cleared follicular unit harvesting and implantation system that delivers excellent hair transplant results. The NeoGraft™ system delivers automation of the FUE technique, the most advanced technique in the hair transplant industry.
NeoGraft uses pneumatic controls to precisely extract complete individual hair follicles which can be immediately transplanted to the selected areas of the scalp. NeoGraft™ provides absolute exact harvesting and placement that deliver the desired results. With NeoGraft™’s technology each follicle is removed individually while the patient is comfortable.
The difference between the Strip Method and FUE Hair Transplant is in the method and device used to extract the grafts that contain the hair follicles. The grafts are extracted one at a time using a one millimeter punch device. Technically you will still have a scar. However it is so minute (a one millimeter dot) that you can not see it with the naked eye, thus allowing the individual to wear their hair as short as they wish. We do not use sutures (stitches) in this procedure, so there is no need for suture removal. Everything else is done exactly the same way, regardless of which extraction method (Strip or FUE) is being used. Both procedures are done while the patient is under a local anesthetic, yet you are awake and comfortable during the procedure.
The Strip Method
The Surgeon removes a strip of tissue from the donor site that contains the hair follicles. The scalp is then carefully brought back together and sutured. The sutures remain in the donor site for 10-14 days before being removed. The strip of tissue that was removed is meticulously dissected so that each hair unit becomes a single “graft” or follicular unit, containing one to four hairs each depending on the density of the donor hair. Once the strip has been dissected into many follicular units, the surgeon and assistants place the receptor sites using pin-point microscopic incisions to cover the area of hair loss being treated. The individual follicular units are then “placed” (inserted) into these microscopic incisions one by one.
The process is very similar to planting saplings. If you look at it this way, the scalp is the soil and the follicle is the sapling.
The most difficult part of the entire process is the waiting period before the hair actually starts to grow, because it cannot occur over night. It takes approximately three months for the hair to emerge after transplantation, because the hair is in shock from being placed in a different location. Hair goes into the Telogen phase (resting/dormancy phase) after being transplanted. However, once the three-month hair growth cycle has been completed, the hair begins to grow at the rate of approximately 1/2″ per month and will grow for the rest of your life. The full thickness of the hair usually takes about one year after the procedure to be realized.
Pros and Cons of the Strip Method
In comparison to Follicular Unit Extraction, the Strip Method requires less time to perform the actual procedure – 2 to 5 hours
Usually, the Strip Method will yield a greater density than FUE – FUE will only yield approximately 2/3 of what the Strip Method can yield.
The Strip Method is a less expensive procedure than the FUE/NeograftTM Method
There will be a faint linear scar in the donor site. With our dedicated suture techniques, no one will ever be able to see the incision line (unless you plan to shave your head). For someone planning to wear their hair in a very short “military style” or similar styles, FUE is a better option because it leaves no linear scar.