What is the difference between Neograft, Artas and FUE Hair Transplant?
Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE is individual extraction of follicular units and many devices are available to assist the surgeon. NeoGraft and Artas machines are simply mechanized forms of FUE. Both are machines that aid in the follicular unit extraction. NeoGraft also aids in the process of transplantation by blowing the grafts back in to the transplant area. FUE as a procedure has been around for a long time and is a good option of transplantation for select patients. Dr. Goertz utilizes a device that assists in removing follicles from the donor area. He does not use the Neograft machine as he believes it causes unnecessary trauma to the follicular units.
I don’t want a big scar after the transplant, is FUE a scarless procedure? (FUE vs FUT Comparison)
It is important to understand that no matter the method of removal, FUE or FUT there will be cutting into the skin and tissue and there will be scaring. The difference between the two procedures (FUE/ FUT) is the shape of the scar and the total area of scar. FUT strip removal will leave one linear scar, no matter the size of the procedure or number of procedures, since any previous scar will be removed upon subsequent surgeries. Whereas FUE will leave hundreds to thousands of small circular scars depending on the size of the procedure, in addition more scars are created with subsequent surgeries. Also keep in mind that the area of healing is actually greater using FUE than that of FUT since the FUT linear incision edge is completely approximated against each other leaving only the length of the incision to heal whereas with FUE the 1mm circular areas are left open as small holes and need to heal from the outside inward ultimately leaving each 1mm circle to heal. This gives a total healing area of – the number of follicular units multiplied by the factor of pi (3.14). Some people mistakenly think that if they have FUE, whether manual , device assisted, Neograft or ARTAS they will be able to shave their head and not see a scar. That is incorrect. However, keep in mind that linear scars are not all created equally, Dr. Goertz performs many scar revisions on the donor areas of many individual who have had a bad hair transplant result.
Is there more nerve damage with the strip method than with FUE?
There are thousands of tiny and microscopic nerves as well as larger ones. Nerves are cut during both procedures. With FUE there is no way to visualize the nerves and nerves will be cut. With FUT many of the nerves are visible and Dr. Goertz takes great care to dissect around the nerves, veins and arteries leaving them intact and only incising to the fat pad just below the level of the hair follicle. In capable hands nerve damage is equivalent with either procedure.
Which procedure with give me the most natural results and most density?
Natural results are directly related to the skill and artistic talent of the surgeon not an instrument or machine that aids in the harvesting of the grafts. As for the greatest density and coverage this also is dependent on the skill and knowledge of the doctor. FUE will not give you that. They are machines that have mechanized the FUE and transplant process in an attempt to aid the physician. Ultimately it is the physician, his surgical skill, artistry in hairline design, hair angle and technique that will provide what you are looking for.
I heard that FUE Transplants are better because the grafts are not handled as much, is that true?
Grafts are handled manually and manipulated with either FUE or FUT procedures. With the FUE devise the grafts are manipulated by both the machine and by the technician throughout the procedure. The FUE harvesting can involve suctions to extract the graft and move it through a vacuum tube into a holding chamber. During the extraction process, although not handled by a human, the grafts are manipulated by and exposed to air and the potential of drying. To retrieve the grafts from the holding chamber the grafts are then collected manually by the technician. For placement of the grafts in to the transplant area this can be done manually or the machine can be used. With the machine the harvested follicles are sucked into the device and then transplanted into the recipient area by blowing the follicles into the recipient sites. By blowing in the follicular units there is a risk of limited control as to position and depth of each graft. There is also an increased exposure to moving air with the fragile grafts exposed to drying conditions. The vacuum (suction and blowing) by nature is drying to the graft. Ideally the grafts are kept moist at all times. The follicular unit grafts need to be handled with care kept moist in ideal conditions to ensure the greatest chance of survival.
Which procedure will allow me to return to my regular activities sooner?
Your recovery will be 7-10 days no matter which procedure you choose. That is the amount of time that it takes for tissue to heal in the donor area and for the transplanted grafts to become completely stable in the recipient area. One thing to keep in mind if you are considering FUE transplant, NeoGraft transplant or an Artas transplant, is that the donor area needs to be shaved over a large area in order to harvest the follicular units. With FUT only the donor area that is going to be removed is shaved and then once removed the longer hair covers over the sutures. This allows patients to return to a more normal appearance more quickly.
Important Additional Information
FUE should not be used in individuals with wavy or curly hair or white/gray hair. Generally, smaller cases may be reasonable candidates for FUE as the safe donor area is limited. Hair transplant surgeon should resist the temptation to harvest follicles from outside the safe donor area.
Following is a link to an article at the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons web site that you might find very helpful. Ultimately it is your choice as to the procedure and the surgeon you choose and we know that no matter who you choose, you should make an informed decision that you feel is best for you.
I hope I have helped. Please feel free to call or email if you have any other questions or concerns.