Hair loss can be devastating and that is why hair transplant procedures are in vogue. With constantly evolving technology, there are a multitude of minimum invasive procedures that can help people with hair thinning and hair loss get a crop of their natural hair again. Some of the different type of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) methods to extract the hair follicles from the donor area and that is then transplanted to the bald patches.
The recipient site needs to be created with great precisions so that the outcome of the transplant is aesthetically placed follicles. The key considerations while creating the graft sites are hair direction, average spacing of the implant, angle of elevation of the hair, direction of hair, depth of the site and total incisions to be done for the insertions. The more accurate it is, better is the growth and look of the hair.
Types of Follicular Unit Extraction
Neograft – A manual, hand held device is used to extract the hair follicles and then it is transplanted in the required area using a suction based method. The machine is manually operated to choose and extract the follicular grafts. A rotating and precise punch separates the grafts from the surrounding area while the suction pulls the dissected graft.
SmartGraft– The complete unit consists of a touchscreen monitor, hand piece, temperature controlled FU graft storage unit. The hand unit is connected by a suction tube which pulls out the punched out follicular graft. Digitally operated hand-piece allows the surgeon to control the punch speed and rotation, suction strength for proper completion of the extraction procedure.
Atera FUE-100- This is similar to the Neograft system as it utilizes single punch and suction of the follicular graft. It uses a saline injection that enhances the visibility of the hair follicular unit grafts. The surgeon uses varied sizes of punches used for harvesting from the donor area.
ARTAS® Robotic System– This is a precise automated system where the ARTAS robotic system locates and then extracts the follicles as programmed by the hair transplant specialists. The benefit is that there is no linear scarring of the tissue in the donor region. The process of punching and extraction is very fast while the robot system can create the recipient site for transplanting or grafting the follicular units.
3-Step– This method uses a punch instrument that penetrates the upper layer of the skin and then a dull punch separates the follicular unit from the surrounding tissue. In the third step, the grafts are extracted and stored for transplanting.
SAFE System- In one step, the motorized punch, cuts through and punches around the selected follicle. Then it is rotated and passes deeper but due to resistance by tissue, the punch tends to be dull. Then the graft is extracted.
RotoCore- This is a hand held device and its punch tip rotates automatically when the pressure is put on the handle by the surgeon. After it is released, the punch goes back to the default position. It cuts through and extracts the hair follicles. It is precise but it can be tedious.