Hair Restoration Surgery Explained

men-in-boat-neograftConfused about the jargon? Don’t have time to scour the forums? Here’s what you need to know. Ladies, if you’re looking for a way to help your guy, you’ll want to know these too.

First, the surgical methods

FUT: Follicular Unit Transplant. This is pretty much the standard method of grafting hair. It means that your hair is replaced in units of 2-4 hair follicles. It’s not a hair plug, which uses a “punch graft” or larger, round clumps of hair. Surgeons use two methods of FUT:

  • Strip Method: an FUT method that requires the surgeon to cut a strip of scalp from the back of your head, staple that back together, and then divide up the excised hair into follicular units, which are then grafted to your balding ares.
  • FUE: Follicular Unit Extraction. In contrast, the follicles are both extracted and transplanted as units with FUE, making it much less invasive, with only local anesthesia needed, and a lot less down time.

Wait, what’s a follicular unit?

This is each individual graft that is removed from the head and/or transplanted to the balding area. A follicular unit can contain any number of hair follicles, but with FUT and FUE usually includes about 1-4 hairs.

There are 2 kinds of FUE

  • Manual FUE: where the surgeon manually removes the follicles from your donor area using a hand held instrument that looks similar to the tool a dentist uses to scrape your teeth, but works much differently. It has a punch on the end to dislodge the follicles, which the surgeon then removes with forceps and then transfers. It’s a tedious process.
  • Automated FUE ( NeoGraft): the process is similar to manual, but the surgeon has a motorized device that allows him to complete the procedure much more quickly and with less risk of damaging the follicle during transplant.

What it means when you see something like this:  #2500 FUE

This means that a man had a Follicular Unit Extraction procedure that involved the transplant of 2500 separate grafts.

Find out how many grafts you’ll need

Check out this calculator tool to estimate based on where you’re thinning and how much you need back. It’s just for kicks; see a plastic surgeon for a more accurate quote.

Other words worth knowing

Cobblestoning: when it looks like grafted hair is sprouting out of small raised bumps; not a good thing.

Swiss Cheese Look: what some guys call it when looking at the donor area after FUE. A skilled surgeon will address this so you don’t look like cheese.

Get the real details from a plastic surgeon

The only way to find out what you’ll need for your Neograft procedure is to consult with an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon. If you live in the Baltimore area, call Dr. Michael Cohen at Belcara Health, the only practice that offers Neograft in the region.