What is Follicular Unit Extraction and Transplant??
For contemporary hair transplants, there are two basic methods of harvesing donor hair. The conventional strip technique and follicular unit extraction. In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique donor hair are harvested one by one and is therefore more labour intensive. During this technique a small micropunch usually sized 1mm or smaller is used to isolate a group of hair from its skin attachments. These groups having one to four hair, called follicular units, are then gathered (pulled out) from the head. This leaves a pin point wound from the area of harvest.
In this way the hair are taken out one after another, until adequate number of hair required for that session have been harvested. This surgery is done at a "micro" level and requires 8X magnification and expert hand control. Since FUE procedure requires careful and delicate handling, it is possible to harvest only 1200-1500 follicular units per session. An average session may last 8 hours and may need to be repeated, if balding area or graft requirement is extensive. The donor wounds heal over the next of seven to ten days with barely visible scars. Stiches are not required
In contrast, in FUT (strip) technique all the required hair are removed in one long strip of hair bearing skin. These hair are then isolated from the strip and implanted. To close the gap after strip harvest, stiching is required.
After the grafts are harvested, micro slits are created in the bald area where these follicular units are implanted with help of fine instruments. Once they develop their blood supply they will grow into healthy growing hair. The angulation of hair, density in key areas and hair design remais different from surgeon to surgeon and depends upon his experience and expertise.
At the end of the day the difference is only in harvesting technique, but what a big difference is that.
I will try to post a video of FUE soon and may be a pictorial comparison of two techniques.