What is an FUE Hair Transplant?
For primary cases of baldness, the follicular unit extraction (FUE) method of hair transplantation, or variations of this technique, has become the “gold standard” in use today. In nature, hair emerges from the scalp in units of one, two, three, and even four hairs. These units are called “follicular units.” When hair is transplanted in these “follicular units,” it appears natural and has a high rate of transplantation survival. Dr. Keller uses follicular units and follicular groupings for most primary hair restorations but can perform revision work with follicular unit and other hair transplantation methods.
How is an FUE Hair Transplant performed?
Follicular Unit Transplantation is done in two ways. These are the “strip method” and Follicular Unit Extraction method. At Dr. Keller’s office, both methods are used, and the “take rates” are exceedingly high.
For the strip method, we remove a strip of hair-bearing skin from the back and/or the side of the scalp that can easily be closed with a fine scar. This strip is then divided into smaller grafts of “follicular units” through a tedious process. Hundreds (or even thousands) of these smaller grafts are constructed. While some of the grafts can contain up to four or five hairs, many grafts will contain only one or two hairs.
These follicular units are then inserted into tiny slits that we place in the bald (recipient) areas of the scalp. These slits must be constructed in such a way that allows the hair to grow in its natural direction. At Keller Plastic Surgery, using our techniques to place hair transplants, we construct artistic patterns that appear natural and match an individual patient’s facial structure.
For the Follicular Unit Extraction method (the most common method that Dr. Keller uses today), each follicular unit is extracted with a tiny punch. This method results in no scar. Indeed, during follicular unit extraction, portions of an old scar can be “punched out” and the scar reduced. The healing for follicular unit extraction is extremely fast, with little or no pain.
While common methods of follicular unit extraction are many (neo-graft, robot, etc), Dr. Keller uses the Safe-Graft tm method, which gives an extremely high “take rate”. Follicular unit extraction is particularly indicated where the scalp is tense (particularly after previous “strip” hair transplantation), scarred, or if the hair is to be worn extremely short or shaved.
We perform follicular unit grafting within the limitations of the amount of donor hair that is available, the hair patterns that we need to create, and the shape of the face, to name a few variables. Each patient has an aspect that is somewhat different, and Dr. Keller’s training as a facial plastic surgeon gives him the background to understand the procedural and artistic relationships that are necessary to reconcile these variables to produce an optimum result.
Variations in follicular unit hair transplantation techniques include follicular unit extractions, dense packing, “single” grafts, groupings of follicular units, “linear” transplantation (particularly in the crown area), temporal point grafting, and the use of different knives, needles, and blades. With Dr. Keller’s experience, he is able to recommend the best technique or combination of techniques for each individual patient.
Hair loss continues throughout life. Dr. Keller assesses each patient’s growth pattern and styles today’s transplantation to meet tomorrow’s hair loss needs.
Why choose Dr. Keller for FUE Hair Transplant?
Dr. Keller has over 25 years of hair transplant experience. A former member of the Premier Hair Transplant Group, which encompassed many of the world’s expert hair surgeons and currently a member of the International Laser Hair Transplant Group, Dr. Gregory S. Keller utilizes the latest hair transplant techniques. He is a member of several national hair transplant societies and is board certified in facial plastic surgery. He is a Castle-Connolly rated “Top Doctor”, an honor bestowed on only a few physicians nationwide by peer selection. This year he was selected by Strathmore’s “Who’s Who” as the “facial cosmetic surgery specialist of the year for 2007.
Dr. Keller has received recognition awards from both the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery and the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery for his contributions. Dr. Keller is double board-certified in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. Dr. Keller is also an Associate Clinical Professor at UCLA and is the co-director of the Facial Plastic Surgery fellowship at UCLA. He has taught hair transplantation techniques to 12 fellows and numerous residents at UCLA who are now in private practices nationwide or are teaching others at universities and prestigious clinics throughout the United States. Dr. Keller has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and many medical presentations in his field, including several in hair transplantation.
What is the science behind the FUE Hair Transplant?
As a facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Keller believes that our hair patterns match the underlying anatomy of the bony structure of our heads. Hair must follow and be patterned to sit over what lies beneath it. His current research in hair transplantation is in this area. Anatomy is important in art and art in anatomy. Knowledge of both allows Dr. Keller to construct optimum patterns of hair transplantation that give a natural appearance to his patients.