Written by Dr. Halaas
Hair loss is very common in both men and woman, affecting over 60 million Americans and impacts their self esteem and confidence. It can occur slowly and unnoticeably over time or have a rapid onset evidenced by excessive amounts of hair in the comb or the shower drain.
Some people have hereditary hair loss traits that are unavoidable and can be passed down from either side of their family. Some have hair loss as a result of prior medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, or treatments for conditions such as thyroid dysfunction that have been corrected and some just have a gradual loss of density resulting from the natural aging process. Some, although young, can have the early onset of male pattern baldness. These can be treated with our hair restoration procedures such as Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG).
Whatever the cause, restoration of hair loss density or filling in patchy bald areas of the scalp is a very common request by men and women alike of varying ages in our New York City office.
Follicular Unit Grafting is represented as the acronym FUG. This is one of two techniques of gathering hair follicles for placement grafts when performing hair restoration surgery. The other technique is Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE.
The only difference between FUG and FUE is the manner in which the hair follicles are harvested for transplant. The FUG method removes a strip of hair from the donor region while the FUE method uses a tiny punch to remove individual groupings of hair follicles.
The donor region is the same for both, the back of the head. Hair follicles harvested from this region are generally resistant to inherited balding traits and will become permanent.
With the FUG method, thin strips of hair are surgically removed from the back of the head. They are meticulously broken down into follicular units microscopically by groupings of 1, 2, 3 or even 4 follicles, all with the same angle and orientation of hair growth. These are the grafts that will be placed into the recipient sites to restore hair density or fill in balding areas.
The donor site is closed, leaving just a fine line that will be difficult to detect once the site is healed and as hair naturally grows around the scar.
The harvested grafts are then placed into tiny recipient site incisions for hair restoration procedure. As a general rule of thumb, individual follicles are placed at or close to the hairline with the 2, 3 or 4 hair follicles placed further back on the scalp as the thinning progresses. These grafts are placed to match the same orientation of hair growth and will create undetectable results.
One of the advantages of using the FUG harvesting method is the ability to gather more grafts for transplant in a single session based on the donor strip removal as compared to the FUE harvesting method that excises individual hair follicles using a tiny punch.
A disadvantage is that FUG requires an incision and if the patient likes to wear their hair very short such as with a crew cut for example, scars may be visible in the donor region.
Also, recovery time is slightly longer with FUG to enable healing of the donor site incision. There is no incision with the FUE punch removal method.
Dr. Yael Halaas has extensive experience in all hair restoration procedure. She is a Facial Plastic Surgeon with expertise in all types of cosmetic surgical restoration including hair transplants. Dr. Halaas specializes in working from the neck up and her reputation is well known and respected within her professional community.
If you are suffering from patchy hair loss, baldness or overall loss of hair density, contact Dr. Halaas at her New York City office.
During your consultation Dr. Halaas will determine what you want to accomplish, ensure your expectations are realistic, assist you in determining your best possible method of hair restoration and help you weigh the risks and benefits of your decision.
Allow Dr. Halaas to provide natural-appearing results that will exceed your expectations of hair restoration.