In this article, Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. William Lindsey provides his expert opinion on follicular unit extraction hair transplantation methods.

Dr_Lindsey_photoI have seen patients with good and bad follicular unit extraction (FUE) results from a variety of techniques. And again remember, FUE is hard and unpredictable, at least compared to the fairly predictable, but not guaranteed results of strip.

I personally have had “home runs” with FUE and a couple of “no hitters” so do not take me slandering other techniques of FUE while I sit here with all perfect results. That is not the case. Rather, I am concerned about the lack of informed consent that the patients that I’ve seen from aggressively marketed automated FUE devices like the NeoGraft Hair Transplant Machine centers, or as a spin-off from a non-hair practice.

Consumers (patients, car buyers, house buyers, people getting engaged) all need to fully educate themselves and then make the best decision that they can. Online hair loss communities like the Hair Restoration Network are an excellent resource and so are in person consultations with a skilled hair transplant surgeon (or more than one). Unfortunately I’m seeing an increasing number of patients who have seen or heard an ad, and signed up immediately.

I feel patients need to know the pros and cons of FUE vs. Strip, the range of possible outcomes, see a few pics of cases that that particular doctor has done, actually see a case in progress if at all possible, and then figure out what is best for him. I strive to do that at our place and I know several other recommended doctors personally who conduct business along this same philosophy as well.

And, particularly for younger guys on whom I have no problem operating (as long as they are fully informed); I encourage them to bring their parents to the consultation and surgery as well. I know from personal experience that my own decision making skill improved throughout my 20s and I benefited from advice along the way.

So bottom line, FUE results can vary even in the best of hands (so can strip but a lot less so). I’m not sure automated FUE in good hands is any better or worse than any other technique. Patients should fully educate themselves prior to making decisions. A flashy ad should serve as an attention getter and call for more education on the topic by any consumer.

Dr. William Lindsey – McLean VA

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David (TakingThePlunge)
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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