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"It was a great to get such education. The doctor and staff were very informative. I definitely plan to work with this office for my cosmetic needs.

They are all personable, friendly and professional."

-Wayne

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Frequently Asked Questions - OC Hair Restoration

RealSelf Q&A with Ken Williams, DO

How does automated FUE work?

A FDA approved device is used to extract a single hair follicle "one-at-a-time" from the back of your head using a circular sharp punch. There are several devices used by the hair transplant surgeon for hair transplantation. Automated hair transplant devices assists the surgeon in extracting the hair follicle. The device is a secondary aspect to successful outcomes using the FUE technique. The most important factor in successful hair transplant surgery is the skills and artistry of the hair surgeon. FUE is less invasive than the traditional linear STRIP technique used by most doctors today. With the FUE technique, there is no removal of the scalp or linear strip. Since there is no excision of a linear donor strip, there is no suturing, and no visible linear donor scar. Another benefit of FUE is the reduced recovery time that allows you to practically return to your pre surgical schedule and activities.


What Is automated FUE Hair Restoration Surgery?

FUE is the most recently developed hair restoration surgery or procedure that does not involve any incisions, sutures, or scalpel unlike the linear STRIP method still used by most doctors today. The FUE method is the removal of individual hair follicles from the scalp in their naturally occurring groupings of about 1-4 hairs. The follicles are then transplanted back into a patient's balding area. Another older FUE method involves manually removing the hair follicle without an automated device. It is called "manual" FUE and involves the use of a disposable punch biopsy. Manual FUE is considered slower and more cumbersome. It was original how FUE was performed. The major challenge with FUE hair restoration for the surgeon is the difficulty of acquiring the skill sets and hand eye coordination to successfully perform this technique. FUE is also a more labor intensive procedure for the surgeon compared to linear strip harvesting methods. Using the automated FUE devices greatly improves the total amount of grafts harvested in a single session. FUE is the least invasive procedure compared to the STRIP method with the fewest complications.


Why FUE Rather Than Linear STRIP?

Most offices are more comfortable with the linear STRIP method since it requires less labor and is quicker to perform. Also, the procedure has been well-established in the hair restoration industry for a longer period of time. In the United States, automated FUE is a relatively new procedure in hair restoration industry as compared to Asia and Europe. Automated FUE is also more labor intensive and time consuming. For these reasons, hair restoration offices have chosen not to offer hair restoration using the automated FUE method.

Automated reduces the cost of doing FUE because the procedure time is shortened and more follicles are harvested. The reduced costs can be passed on to the patient, allowing more people to have the FUE procedure.


What Are The Advantages Of Using An Automated Device?

There are many advantages. Our device allows more individuals to be candidates for the FUE method of transplantation. Performing FUE by hand limits the number of people who can have this technique because of the time factor which raises the costs. There is minimal pulling and twisting with hair graft extracting forceps that in turn increases graft survivability.

Compared to manual FUE, the hair restoration procedure is faster with automated devices. Therefore, more follicles can be re-implanted sooner which increases viability and better outcomes. With the traditional manual method used for FUE hair transplants, the patient must rely more on the skilful hand of a technician or doctor.


What About STRIP (FUT) Excision?

The linear STRIP excision or FUT, is the most common and traditional hair restoration procedure used by most doctors today. It is a good procedure and our office performs the procedure if requested. One of the concerns with this procedures despite the introduction the trichophytic closure technique, is the incidence of a donor linear scar. The scar may enlarge over time to overcome the tension of the skin created by cutting a strip and suturing the scalp together. Patients may also experience chronic pain or neuralgia from the STRIP surgery.


What procedure should I have- FUE or STRIP?

The final decision for the type of surgery depends upon an examination of the donor scalp, density of and quality of the donor follicles, and other intangible issues. The in office consultation- patient history and examination with the hair restoration surgeon will assist you in making the final decision In general, FUE can be performed on the majority of patients desiring this procedure.


Is Hair Restoration Surgery Safe?

From a surgical standpoint, all hair restoration surgeries are very safe when done under local anesthesia. It is considered a relatively minor ambulatory surgical procedure with minimal risks. Automated FUE procedures are also performed under local anesthetic and is considered less risky and invasive. Hair restoration surgery does not require intravenous or intra-muscular sedation.


Is FUE Hair Transplantation Painful?

Most people are surprised there is virtually no pain during an FUE hair transplant procedure done under a local anesthetic. Mild discomfort may occur as a local anesthetic is injected into the scalp. Once the skin is properly anesthetized, though, there is no pain. After the FUE surgery, patients will typically feel some minor discomfort. It is usually described as minimal. With the STRIP method, there is more pain, with the amount of pain depending on each patients individual pain threshold. Medicine can be prescribed to help with any discomfort or pain.


What Are The Possible Complications?

FUE Hair Transplant surgery is considered a minimally invasive and minor procedure. There are rarely complications and your doctor easily treats any that may occur. The most frequent question asked by patient is the extent of post operative hypopigmentation that may occur as a result of removal of the hair graft. With STRIP surgery there are potentially more risk and complications because of the more invasive nature of the procedure. They include infections, excessive scarring, a feeling of tightness of the scalp, hair loss in the scar area, nerve pain, bleeding, as well as a chance of damage to the occipital or temporal blood vessels.


When Can I Go Back To Work?

It is often possible to go back to work within the next day after the FUE transplant. With the STRIP procedure, depending on the level of pain, more down time is usually required.


When Will My Newly Transplanted Hair Start To Grow?

There is no difference between the STRIP and automated FUE techniques when the hair follicle begins to grow. Normally it takes between three to five months following surgery before the transplanted hair follicles begin to grow new hair. Results will vary from one to another and it may take up to twelve months for the hair follicle to grow.


What Is The Cost Of Hair Restoration?

The automated FUE procedure is typically more expensive than the STRIP method. Performing hair restoration surgery using the automated approach is very time consuming, and is therefore more costly. Not all offices offer this surgical procedure. The reason is quite simple. Physicians performing automated FUE will require retraining and additional skills to perform the procedure. The procedure requires more skill and time in the operating room than the traditional linear STRIP procedure.

Prices typically average around $4 to $10 per graft for the STRIP method. The automated FUE method typically requires twice the amount of labor and time as compared to the linear STRIP method. The surgical fee is increased according to the amount of time required to complete the procedure.


How Many Sessions Will Be Required?

The total balding surface area to be covered with transplanted hair grafts will determine the number of procedures you need. The average scalp contains 100,000 follicles before any hair loss occurs. Hair loss is not perceived by patients until approximately 50% of the hair follicles are lost. At OC Hair Restoration, our staff is able to harvest 2000 grafts in a single surgical session/day. Our day starts at 0700 hours and we typically end the day between 5-6 pm.


How Many Grafts Will I Need?

The amount of grafts you will need ultimately depends on your degree of hair loss and desired density.


Will It Really Look Natural?

Natural aesthetic outcomes are typical with FUE and Strip procedures. The artistry and attention to detail of the hair restoration surgeon at OC Hair Restoration is our promise to you as a patient.


What is shock loss after hair surgery?

While shock loss is not uncommon after hair transplant surgery, understanding what it is and how it might affect you could help to reduce anxiety you  may have about the phenomenon.

Shock loss refers to the loss of either existing or transplanted hair after a hair transplant procedure. This hair can be lost from either the transplanted area or the donor area. There are a number of possible causes of shock loss and it is nearly always a temporary event affecting a percentage of hairs in the area,  There is no hair transplantation technique that makes shock loss less likely, and for some patients, shock loss is simply a natural response to transplantation. When hair transplantation is performed with exceptional care by an experienced surgeon, the chances of shock loss are significantly smaller.

Loss of some of the newly transplanted hair grafts after surgery is fairly common and perfectly normal. The transplanted grafts are generally healthy, and the hair will grow back. This hair loss isn’t necessarily the result of shock, though it may be.

One of the most common causes of shock loss is the failure on the part of the physician not to damage the follicles of existing hair in the area where new hair is being transplanted. Ironically, in attempting to preserve these existing follicles, even meticulous surgeons can cause hairs that were programmed to fall out soon to do so prematurely. As long as this hair loss was genetically programmed to be temporary (as part of the normal growth cycle of hair), the hair will return.

We exercise equal care in performing female and male hair transplantation to minimize the risk of shock loss; however, it is worth noting women are more prone to shock loss than men for reasons we do not understand.