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Follicular Unit Extraction Studied in Hair Transplants

Despite some advantages over standard techniques, high rate of transection is a limitation

MONDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In hair transplant patients, follicular unit extraction (FUE) has some advantages over classical strip harvesting but is limited by a high rate of transection, researchers report in the November issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Ergin Er, M.D., of the TRANSMED Hair & Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Istanbul, Turkey, and colleagues used the FUE technique to transplant different parts of transected hair follicles in five male patients. The proximal one-third, one-half and two-thirds of 15 hair follicles were extracted from defined boxes and transplanted in recipient boxes.

After one year, the researchers found that a mean of 3.0 (range, 2-4) of the proximal one-third, 4.4 (range, 2-6) of the proximal one-half, and 6.2 (range, 5-8) of the proximal two-thirds of the transplanted follicles were fully grown. They also found that donor-site regrowth was a mean of 12.6 (range, 10-14) of the proximal one-third, 10.2 (range, 8-13) of the proximal one-half, and 8 (range, 7-12) of the proximal two-thirds.

"The survival rate of the transected hair follicles is directly related to the level of transection," the authors conclude. "Even the transected parts, however, can survive at the recipient site; the growth rate is not satisfactory and they are thinner than the original follicles. We therefore recommend that the surgeon not transplant the sectioned parts and be careful with the patients whose transection rate is high during FUE procedures."

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