FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) Hair Transplant Explained:
Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE Toronto is a minimally invasive technique for harvesting hair follicles from the safe donor areas at the back and sides of the scalp. By using state-of-the-art technology including specialized hybrid punches measuring less than 1mm in diameter, we are able to safely extract thousands of follicles with extremely low rates of transection, only minor discomfort, and minimal scarring.
At our Hair Transplant Clinic, we do not use automated or robotic extraction systems. Our surgeons and highly experienced expert team extract each and every follicle by hand for maximum precision. Once the follicular units have been harvested, we utilize microsurgical instrumentation and high magnification to place the grafts into the hairline and the areas of the scalp that are bald or thinning.
While FUE surgery does leave tiny scars in the donor area, at our Hair Transplant Clinic, FUE is preferred by approximately 80% of our male patients because it is minimally invasive and does not leave a linear scar. This generally allows one to cut the hair at the back and sides of the scalp short, or even shave without issues of donor scar visibility. For most patients, FUE Toronto is associated with minimal discomfort and downtime and yields results that are totally natural and virtually undetectable. Hair loss can be a harrowing experience and can result in a loss of confidence. We view hair transplantation as freedom granting procedure that restores not just hair, but self-confidence.
Recovery from a minimally invasive FUE Toronto hair transplant is generally about one week. The donor area will be covered with a gauze bandage that can be removed on the first day and the tiny donor sites heal over within 2-3 days. Within a week, they are usually hard to detect and it looks like a “high and tight” haircut. The recipient area where the grafts have been placed will tend to form crusts and scabs which are generally present for about 1 week. There can be some swelling in the transplanted area for several days after the procedure and this can sometimes track down to the eyelids and cheeks leading to a puffy appearance for a few days. This is a normal effect of the operation and is nothing to worry about. It is expected to resolve within 2-3 days.
Most patients elect to take a few days off work following an FUE session but normal light activities such as talking on the phone and working on a computer can be resumed on day one. Typically, within a week or so, any swelling and redness has settled down and the transplant is invisible. Light exercise and other activity may be resumed in 5-7 days and we recommend 2-3 weeks off of strenuous exercise and swimming.
The total cost involved for an FUE session depends on a number of factors including the number of follicles that will be transplanted, previous procedures, and donor and recipient site characteristics. At our Hair Transplant Clinic we do not charge per graft as some large commercial clinic chains do. We encourage people to think about the procedure as a whole, and about the result that we are trying to achieve. Our Hair Transplant Clinic is able to assist patients that are looking for financing options.
An FUE hair transplant typically takes around 4 to 10 hours to complete depending on the number of grafts necessary. A typical session of 2000-2500 follicular units can take up to 10 hours. It is a long process, but all of our patients report that it is a comfortable and relaxing experience overall and spend the day listening to music or podcasts, watching Netflix or movies, or just relaxing. We provide lunch, snacks, and plenty of breaks throughout the process.
The time to consider a hair transplant is when you look in the mirror, or at a photograph of yourself, and the hairline that you see does not reflect the way that you feel or the image of yourself that you wish to project to the world. Both FUT and FUE have advantages and disadvantages. FUE is ideal for patients seeking a permanent solution and a minimally invasive approach with low downtime. FUE is the optimal technique for those that wish to preserve the option of cutting the hair at the back and sides to a fade or even shaving the head with little or no visible scar. Unlike some clinics, our team at Follicle HT is highly experienced at both FUE and FUT techniques and our surgeons will help you to decide which technique is right for you. At this point, FUE hair transplant Toronto is the preferred technique for about 80% of our male patients.
Enjoy a permanent solution to your hair loss problem
When performing FUE surgery, we select follicles from the “permanent donor area” at the back and sides of the scalp. This means that the transplanted hairs are expected to grow as they did in their original location for the rest of your life. For most male patients, the results of FUE hair transplant Toronto are permanent.
The FUE procedure is minimally invasive with no linear scar at the back of the scalp and no need for sutures. The donor sites are less than 1mm and generally heal over within 2-3 days with minimal discomfort.
No Linear Scar
With the FUE procedure, you can bring back your confidence and improve your overall appearance by restoring your youthful look. Who will not look younger with a full crop of hair, right?
Improved Appearance and Self-Confidence
The goal of FUE surgery is a completely natural and undetectable result that restores not just your hairline, but your self-confidence. The transplanted hair is your own and can be washed, cut and styled however you wish. You can swim and play sports and face the world with your old confidence.
At our Hair Transplant Clinic Toronto, our hair transplant physicians are board-certified in head and neck and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. They are trained and experienced in the most advanced techniques for scar reconstruction, revision and camouflage. FUE hair transplants can be used to correct scarring of the scalp, eyebrows, moustache and beard areas and can be used to correct scarring caused by previous FUT strip surgery procedures.
In our hands, FUT strip surgery performed using trichophytic techniques generally results in a fine-line scar that is only 1-2 mm thick and is often virtually undetectable. In some cases, particularly among patients who have undergone multiple strip surgery procedures elsewhere, donor scar visibility can be an issue. At Follicle HT, we can utilize FUE techniques to transplant directly into old FUT scars in order to camouflage and conceal them. Other techniques that can be used to improve old scars may include re-excision and closure or scalp micro pigmentation.
Ultimately, the choice of where to have your hair transplant procedure is a personal one. At our Hair Transplant Clinic, our goal is total patient satisfaction. We accomplish this by providing state-of-the-art follicular unit hair transplant surgery in a comfortable, fully accredited surgical facility where we adhere to the highest standards of comfort and safety. We also offer the entire range of hair restoration options including both medical and surgical treatments, FUT and FUE Toronto hair transplantation, surgical hairline lowering, and PRP therapy.
At our Hair Transplant Clinic, our philosophy is that modern hair transplantation is a freedom-granting procedure. We strive to help all of our patients look and feel their very best by having the full range of FUE Toronto options available. We tailor a personalized treatment plan that is individualized to each of our patient’s specific needs and goals. We want to build relationships with our patients and we invite you to schedule a consultation with us and see for yourself.
At the time of your consultation, we will determine the type of FUE system that would be suitable for your specific needs and preferences. Having said that, the following are the different types of FUE hair transplants:
The Neograft procedure involves using an automated rotary punch that typically has a diameter of 0.9 mm. The device is used to remove the grafts in a fast, safe, and painless manner.
ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant
The Artas FUE procedure, on the other hand, involves using a robotic rotary punch, typically with a diameter of 1.0 mm. Like Neograft, Artas is likewise used for harvesting FUE grafts fast, safely, and painlessly.
As an option for patients who may prefer alternatives to FUE Toronto hair transplants, we can use topical minoxidil and nutrients, plasma-derived growth factors, combined with low level, high intensity light therapies. The non-FUE transplant treatment may also be offered after undergoing an FUE procedure to achieve the best possible results.
Prior to your procedure, you will be provided with detailed instructions. Our team will obtain your full medical history and review all of your usual medications, most of which can be continued to the day of surgery.
If you are taking blood thinners such as Aspirin, Coumadin or Plavix, the doctor will instruct you on whether and for how long it is safe to pause your medication.
In general, we ask that patients refrain from taking anti-inflammatory medications, certain vitamins and supplements, as well as alcohol for at least one week prior to the procedure as they can lead to increased bleeding which interferes with graft growth. We also ask that you refrain from or minimize smoking which can also compromise the healing process.
On the day of your hair transplant, our surgeon and the team will review all your instructions and prescriptions and we will demonstrate how to take care of your scalp and wash the hair in the days that follow the procedure. We will review all of the “do’s and don’ts” and give you instructions about when you can resume all of your normal activities.
When preparing to undergo an FUE hair transplant surgery, you need to keep some specific instructions in mind. These include:
- Refrain from taking anti-inflammatory medicines, as well as vitamin E and B tablets a week before the scheduled procedure. These medications can affect the results of the procedure.
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol 1 week before undergoing hair transplant surgery.
- On the day of your surgery, deep wash your hair using shampoo and conditioner.
Unlike the traditional and outmoded transplant techniques, after undergoing an FUE hair transplant Toronto procedure, you will experience less discomfort as well as a faster recovery period. There is likewise no specific maintenance steps that you will be required to follow. You can resume your regular routine the day after.
The small slits resulting from the deployment of the hair follicles in the donor area do not need any stitches. They are simply allowed to scab over time. Once fully healed, they will generally be inconspicuous and go unnoticed by the naked eye.
You will leave the clinic with a light gauze dressing over the donor area. There is no dressing applied to the grafts themselves, but you will be asked to keep the recipient area clean and moist using a gentle spray bottle. There can be some minor swelling and discomfort and you will receive detailed instructions.
The dressing will be removed from the donor area. You may have some ongoing minor discomfort, swelling and redness that can be managed with the medications that have been provided. You may go back to non-physical work and resume your regular low impact daily activities.
You may notice that swelling peaks at this time. Some patients will notice swelling that tracks into the eyelids and cheeks and can lead to a puffy appearance. This is nothing to worry about and always resolves within a few days. You may start gently washing your hair, following the instructions that you have received.
Swelling will subside and only minor discomfort will remain.
You may start washing your hair more normally, gently rubbing the grafts with your fingers to encourage any remaining scabs to fall away. If you have had an FUT procedure, you will return to the clinic for a checkup and suture removal. You may resume light exercise.
All residual scabbing and crusting will be resolved. Most of the donor hairs will have fallen away with the scabs, but the follicles are still present and dormant in the scalp. You may start to resume more strenuous exercise and swimming.
You will start to see the transplanted hairs slowly growing in. Be patient!
You will see the full effect of your hair transplant procedure.
Attention: For the first 4 weeks after the surgery, refrain from doing heavy exercises. In fact, it would be better to avoid doing any form of exercise at this time. You can resume performing your regular exercise routines after one month.
Many patients seeking hair restoration are also interested in pursuing additional facial rejuvenation procedures. Our Hair Transplant Clinic is a partnership with NOVA Medical Hair Transplant.
How painful is FUE hair transplant surgery?
We perform FUE Toronto hair transplant procedures using local freezing in a comfortable, fully accredited outpatient clinic setting. There is normally only minimal discomfort associated with our techniques and a general anesthetic is not required. Pain medication and light sedatives are given orally to ensure that any discomfort is minimized and we utilize advanced techniques of local freezing administration so most patients report that they experience only minimal pain. Most patients spend the day listening to music or podcasts, watching Netflix, or just relaxing.
Is FUE hair transplant permanent?
In males, the transplanted hairs are taken from the permanent or “safe” areas at the back and sides of the scalp so the results of transplantation are generally permanent. In women, the results are also long-lasting or permanent, although the donor area can be less reliable than it is in men. As time goes on, there can be ongoing loss of the surrounding non-transplanted hair so sometimes patients will return for a second procedure to catch up with progressive hair loss in the transplant area
What is the downtime after an FUE hair transplant?
We generally recommend taking at least 2-3 days off after your FUE Toronto procedure, although most patients resume taking phone calls, answering emails and doing computer work on the first post-procedure day. Some of our patients even take business calls or work on their laptops or phones during the procedure itself! Typically, within a week or so, any swelling and redness have settled down and the transplant is invisible. Light exercise and other activity may be resumed in 5-7 days and we recommend 2-3 weeks off of strenuous exercise and swimming.