Why FUE is Like iPad Technology

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza On 4:33 AM 0 comments
I read a comment on a blog from a jaded patient who claims FUEs have a lower "stick" rate than hair transplanted from a strip of hair (this guy must have a sad story because he occupies a lot of his time with negative comments on this blog, YouTube and forums).

I did expect a slightly lower success rate as one of the minor potential downsides of FUEs, and here's an article on the subject. Again- the traditional method of hair transplant is to remove a strip of "donor" hair via incision from the back of the head, then suture it together.

For a guy that doesn't like "surgery" or blood, FUE was far more attractive, and I was willing to accept the possibility that the hairs wouldn't stick as well.

For me, this was offset by a) the fact that I'm a good candidate for FUE (not everyone is), b) I like the variety of hairs in the new region (density/type) because it looks more realistic than the course ones from the back, c) I'm confident that we're advancing on FUE success rates.

What's important to realize is that most new technology advances aren't perfect from day one. Look at the first computer tablet or even the first iPhone. If you judge today's iPad or iPhone by those standards, you'll find great improvements.

I'd assume the same to be true with FUE (although I can't find data yet- it may or may not exist). As doctors get smarter about their extraction tools (Dr. Bauman used Neograft from me, which is quite different from using leeches or toothpicks to wedge the follicles out individually).

Unlike iPads, however, FUE-transplanted hair is not FUE-transplanted hair. There are many physician-specific variables, just like with traditional incision transplants... and I don't think there's a hair-transplant physician that has migrated entirely to FUE. It's also vital to have a good FUE extractor dude (whatever they're called) who knows which hairs, what circumference is ideal, and how to pluck and save 'em.

So it's worth asking your doctor about experience, and consider that "little things" mean a lot. The circumference around each follicle is maybe the biggest factor. Then there's how they're sucked, stored, etc.

The key point for me is this: accept that as an "early mover" in any new technology you're not going to get the benefits of the laggards. So you have to decide: do I want to wait until it's sorted itself out, or enjoy something new as soon as possible? It depends. For FUE, I thought Bauman had enough experience to comfort me. But at the same time, I'm not buying the first version of iPads. I'll wait until the second generation and let the kinks work themselves out.