Hippocratic Oath or Hypocritical Oaf?
F.U.E. (Follicular Unity Extraction) - The No-Scar Technique
Very recently I spotted advertising from one of our competitors offering F.U.E. (follicular Unit Extraction) at incredibly low costs. They were offering £2000 for 2000 grafts!! - That's cheap!
They also equated 2000 grafts to 4000 hairs, stating that 1 graft equaled 2 hairs?
Most people researching hair transplant surgery will know that grafts differ in hair content. Some are single hair grafts, some 2/3 hair grafts, 4 /5, and even 6 hair grafts.
I kept staring at what they were offering, wondering why they had purposefully equated 2000 grafts to 4000 hair? Why would they stipulate 2 hair grafts like it was the norm?
Then the penny dropped!
It was so obvious and was starting me on the face. THEY HAVE DROPPED THE ‘SELECTION’ PROCESS’!! One of the key features of the F.U.E., technique.
The process that every surgeon and doctor worth their salt conducts. When they and their assistants took time to search for the grafts with the bigger numbers of hairs. To ensure their patients achieve as much volume as is possible.
Our competitor had stipulated 2 hairs per graft, they had advertised 2000 grafts = 4000 hairs like it was a ‘positive’ which to the uninitiated would seem like great value.
When without the ‘Selection’ process, 4000 hairs are about the lowest ‘harvest’ that one would expect from 2000 grafts.
When the F.U.E. Procedure first became an option, back in 2004, the I.S.H.R.S. (The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) gave the average content of the Follicular Unit as 2.1 hairs.
The expected harvest was around 2100 hairs from 2000 grafts. However, in later years the figures quoted by the I.S.H.R.S., have jumped dramatically to as high as 2.6. A figure the Society attributed to the more experienced surgeon’s.
So, had the clinics in question retained the Selection process and had they had their patient’s best interests at heart, they could have increased their patient’s ‘harvest’ from an estimated 4000 hairs to a potential of up to 5200 hairs?
Added to which, they would have saved their patients valuable ‘donor grafts’ for any future procedure they may need.
I've met a good many former patients who have run out of donor grafts, leaving body-hair grafts as their only alternative.
In fact, I faced that very problem recently when I had my own hair transplanted after losing the remainder of my own, retained 'natural' growth, due to a recent illness. See my video. Dr. Tsounis was only able to locate 643 with which to use to 'infill' lost hair from both sides of my front hairline (my recession areas). Had he removed any more grafts he would have risked utilising grafts in my donor area and risked my displaying my scarring from my past 'plug' and strip surgery.
At risk of repeating myself, to save time and money, some of our competitors have abolished one of the single most important benefits of F.U.E., the ‘key’ process of ‘Selection’?
They have replaced this process with ‘Ad Hoc’ extraction, simply to save time.
They are simply plucking the grafts out of the scalp like plucking a Chicken! No records of hair content. No planned usage of bigger grafts for maximum volume? Nothing. Just the 4000 hairs!
No wonder they're offering such low prices!!
Rest assured we are performing the 'recognized' method of F.U.E which includes selecting the bigger grafts to ensure our patients receive the optimum volume their donor hair density/volume allows.