FUE Hair Transplant Overseas
Why are hundreds of patients traveling overseas to get
their hair restoration procedures? Since hair transplantation
is generally not covered by health insurance, there is little incentive to
pay top dollars in the US, when a top surgeon in another country offers
the same procedure. Medical tourism is a common practice among people in
the U.S. and Canada. Most people cannot afford the cost of having
the best procedures for hair restoration available today, and certainly
the high cost of a hair transplant is not a good indicator
for quality. Another very important advantage is anonymity. It is
extremely advantageous for certain individuals to go “on vacation” and
return home without anyone suspecting they’ve had hair transplant surgery.
No matter what your reason if for traveling, the most important
consideration should always be the quality of care you receive. A good
experienced FUE surgeon can guide you through all that is needed to
have a complete hair restoration.
The best part is the price tag. The total price of an
overseas treatment—with airfare, accommodations, and even a few days of
vacation tacked on—is often far less than the procedure by itself would
cost in the United States. The worldwide demand for plastic surgery rises
every year and as more individuals who desire a hair transplant
realize they can afford VIP treatment with a top surgeon in another
country they're packing their bags and heading to the airport.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
FUE hair transplants, or follicular unit extraction
procedures are another alternative for hair restoration surgery.
With FUE hair transplants, no blades or scalpels are used. Instead,
we use a surgical instrument small enough to extract one single follicular
unit at a time. The results are the same natural results as a normal strip
procedure, but with very little bleeding, no visible scar
formation and less recovery time for patients. With FUE, patients
can benefit from having no visible scar formation and still
have the option of shaving their heads throughout their lifetime.
With FUE, a0.7 mm cylindrical punch instrument is used to take the
follicular unit from the donor area. Then, the follicular units are placed
in a special medium solution, and are delicately placed on the recipient
area where they grow permanently, following a special pattern and
providing density as dense-packing is carefully measured.
Although the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique is based on
a simple principle of obtaining follicular units one at a time, the
procedure and the consistency of the results may vary with each doctor.
The technique is also very time consuming and requires a high level of
skill from the hair restoration surgeon. Please take the precaution to ask
for further information on the FUE procedure with each doctor
you approach. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is ideal for
patients who wish to wear their hair very short or are afraid of surgery.
Advantages of FUE hair transplant
Faster healing time
Having an FUE procedure has its advantages as it is more
comfortable during the healing period, and activities can be resumed in
less time. Complete healing from a follicular unit extraction procedure is
about 5 to 7 days, compared to two weeks for the traditional hair
There is also no visible scarring in the donor area, so
patients can feel free to wear their hair short and avoid having a
linear scar in the back of their heads.
Easier identification of gray hair follicles
One advantage of FUE over the traditional strip hair transplant is
that it is easier to identify and extract (or avoid extracting) gray
hair follicles. With the traditional strip method, the use of a
backlight or a special microscope is essential, or gray hair could be
damaged during the identification and separation process. With FUE,
each follicular unit remains intact during extraction, or FUE can
selectively harvest hair that has not gone gray.
Disadvantages of FUE hair transplant
Sessions limited to 2,500 grafts per day
One of the major disadvantages of FUE procedure is that it is time
consuming, and a limited number of follicular units can be harvested in
the donor area per session. That is not the case with a normal strip
hair transplant where as much as 5,000 grafts can be transplanted per
session. For FUE hair transplants, the average amount of grafts
extracted in a single day may vary from 800 to 2,500 depending on
follicular unit architecture and skin conditions. If more grafts are
needed, the use of more than one session is suggested.
For a session larger than 1,000 grafts, having the donor area shaved is a
requirement. Since FUE technique requires that the surgeon view the
follicular unit groupings as they extract them, it is necessary for the
patient to shave the sides and back of their head.
The content of this article was provided by Dr. Luis Nader, Medical
Director of Nader Medical, hair transplant clinic. Dr. Nader’s experience
with FUE has placed him as one of the top leading FUE hair transplant
surgeons worldwide. He is also member of several hair restoration
organizations such as the International Society of Hair Restoration
Surgeons, and the European Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. His clinic
in Mexico is exclusively dedicated to hair transplantation, being FUE
procedures an important part of his practice.