Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the hair transplant approach that has gained more preference because of the lesser risk that it has with scar formation. It does not require incisions compared to the traditional Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also known as the strip method. But despite the techniques that make it less invasive and relatively safer, you still need to take certain precautions in order to ensure that you end up with successful results.
With FUE, the follicular units (naturally occurring hair groups in twos or threes) are removed using a metal instrument with sharp edges which has a hollow middle. Unlike FUT, where a strip of scalp is removed before each hair graft is extracted through a high-powered microscope, FUE has a more conservative approach resulting to less healing and a faster recovery time.
Another thing that makes FUE popular is that it also provides a more natural-looking result.
After the transplant, one of the most important things that you must remember is to avoid washing your hair for the first 24-48 hours. It is at this time that the implants are still at the most vulnerable to damage and can be easily dislodged.
When recovering from FUE you still need to make sure that you keep the wounds, no matter how small they are, constantly cleansed. The donor site, as well as the recipient area should be gently washed using a wet cotton ball. Do not use a wiping motion, but dab the wet cotton ball instead. This will remove the crusts without dislodging the hair implants.
For the next two weeks after your surgery, you should avoid direct contact from the sun and protect your scalp with sunscreen or a hat. You should also sleep with your head elevated by propping some pillows to prevent swelling. By doing so, you also hasten the healing time.
Strenuous exercises or contact sports should also be avoided for at least 6 months. Avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects because this can stress out your scalp which could lead to bleeding.
A few days after the hair transplant surgery you will notice scabs forming both from the donor and recipient sites. Yes, this is a sign which means that these areas are healing. However it doesn’t mean that you can just pick or scratch them. You should just wait until they fall off themselves, to ensure that the area is fully healed. If you scratch them, you would just be introducing infection and could damage the hair grafts.
When we talk about the recovery time for FUE, it is significantly lesser compared to FUT for the reason that it does not have a long linear wound. This is one of the major reason why FUT would take some time to heal and has more risks for complications such as bleeding or infections.
If you want to assure that you heal in time, you must prepare your body to be healthy enough to let the hair grafts thrive. It should also be that you choose a good surgeon who can perform this delicate job with careful precision. With that, you can ensure yourself to have a faster and uncomplicated FUE recovery period.