FUE Hair Restoration

Orange County Hair Restoration and Dr. Williams are one of the most experienced hair restoration surgeon and facility performing Follicular Unit Excision (FUE). Our office uses the world’s most recognized FUE donor harvesting devices- ARTAS, WAW, Cole PCID, and SAFE systems. These state-of-the-Art FUE devices are the result of extensive research and development providing a minimally invasive procedure.

The natural aesthetically appealing hairline is a result of the artistic qualities of Dr. Williams experience as a hair restoration surgeon. Dr. Williams and staff refines the hair transplantation surgery experience and improves clinical outcomes for our patients. FUE is fast becoming the hair restoration procedure of choice. In 2009, Dr. Williams was the first and most recognized dedicated FUE hair restoration facility in the western United States. As FUE technology advanced, better devices have emerge such as the ARTAS, WAW and PCID.

FUE with the ARTAS system is a physician controlled advanced automated device designed and developed by restoration Robotics. Our office was one of the original facilities in 2013 to acquire the ARTAS device, and we have earned the “Center of Excellence Award” from Restoration Robotics because of our expertise in the use of the FUE device.

Most importantly, our physician, Dr. Ken Williams, is involved in every aspect of the hair surgery experience. Unlike other FUE hair surgery facilities that have non-physicians performing hair surgery, Dr. Williams, intimately performs all the the Critical-to-Quality Steps (CTQS) of the hair transplantation surgery. His clinical expertise and “hands-on” approach with his patients results in reduced graft transaction and higher harvesting rates.

Almost all patients appreciate the natural aesthetic results with FUE. In comparison to the linear strip method, FUE does not require the surgical removal of a section of the scalp that potentially results in a donor linear scar at the back of the scalp. Instead, FUE uses your own natural hair follicles without using a scalpel, sutures or staples. The most desired aspects of FUE is the noninvasive nature of the surgery, quicker recovery times, and no linear donor scar.

Two Methods Of Hair Transplantation – FUT(Strip) vs. FUE

Currently there are two primary surgical techniques or methods used in performing hair transplantation- FUT (STRIP) and FUE. With the FUT harvesting technique, a section of scalp is excised with a scalpel. The scalp is brought together with either sutures that may leave a donor linear scar in the back of the scalp. Next, the hair follicles or hair grafts are inserted into tiny slits placed by Dr Williams in the balding recipient area. The follicles with a single hair are placed in the front rows to define and create a natural hairline. The more dense natural occurring follicular units are placed by hand in areas where hair density is needed behind the frontal transition zone.

With FUE, a minimal depth scoring punch device is used to incise the skin, and then advancing the punch loosens the follicle from the surrounding dermal tissues. The small naturally occurring hair follicle units are then removed and placed in special bio-enhanced holding solutions to preserve follicle viability until they are directly implanted in the balding areas of the scalp. With the FUE procedure, Dr. Williams prefers using “large fatty grafts” using a 0.9 or 0.95 mm circular punch as the harvesting tools. Fatter grafts that are closer to the size of strip created grafts tend to have better graft survival rates. After harvesting the grafts, the process of recipient site implantation is exactly the same as the strip harvesting technique.

No Surgical Cutting of Scalp

FUE with the ARTAS, WAW, PCID, or Safe System are the most recently developed FUE hair transplant devices that does not involve excising a large portion of the scalp or linear incision in the scalp. Thus no sutures, staples, or scalpel are required. Postoperative bleeding is minimally present and almost immediate surgical recovery is realized in days. Patients are able to resume light physical activity the next day with minimal restrictions. Athletes or physically active patients may resume their normal strenuous workouts one week after the procedure.

Up to 2500 to 3000 Grafts harvested Per Day

Quality of grafts at Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery-OC Hair Restoration

Quality of grafts at Orange County Hair Restoration

Hair restoration surgery with FUE removes individual hair follicles from the scalp in their naturally occurring groupings of 1-4 hairs. At OC Hair Restoration, Dr Williams is able to typically harvest or surgically remove and implant 2500 to 3000 grafts in one (1) surgical setting using 0.9 mm or 0.95 mm punches. The typical length of the surgical session varies from patient-to-patient. In some cases because of various patient factors and number of grafts harvested, cases will end as quickly as five (5) hours, but in some patients an eight (8) hour session may be required.

Quicker Recovery, More Grafts, and No Donor linear Scars with FUE

Magnification view of hypopigmentation from FUE technique

Magnification view of hypopigmentation from FUE technique

Compared to early manual hand held FUE, modern day FUE devices allow more hair grafts to be harvested in a single surgical session. With the 21st technology devices such as the ARTAS, WAW, Cole, and SAFE systems, FUE harvesting allows patients to have a greater number of hair follicles transplanted into their balding areas of scalp in a single surgical session. Most importantly, as compared to the linear STRIP excision technique, there is no observed linear donor scar when the hair is worn short. It should be noted, FUE causes scaring of the scalp that may results in small multiple 1.5 mm areas of donor area hypopigmentation. In certain skin and ethnic skin types the areas of hypopigmentation may be more prominent if the scalp hair is cut very short or is shaved.

Small round areas of hypopigmentation from FUE observed when hair is cut short

Small round areas of hypopigmentation from FUE observed when hair is cut short

Traditional FUT (STRIP) Method Before & After

Intra operative FUT Incision

Intra operative FUT Incision

FUE Before & After Photos


View More Results

FUE Technique FUT STRIP Technique
Use of Scalpel, Sutures, or Staples No Yes
Surgical Operating Time-2500 Grafts 5-8 hours 5-8 hours
Invasiveness of Procedure + +++
Typical Hair Length Preference Short Medium
Short Hair Required Prior to Procedure Yes No
Donor Site Linear Scar No Yes
Maximum Follicles Harvested Per Session 2500 – 3000 2500-3000
Typical Healing Time of Donor Site 5-7 days 10-14 days
Local Tumescent Anesthesia / Oral Sedation Yes Yes
Postoperative Tight Scalp Sensation No Yes
Risk of Bleeding & Nerve Damage No Low
Donor Hypopigmentation Yes No
Risk of Donor Site infection Very Low Low