This question, from a member of the Hair Restoration Social Community and Discussion Forums, was answered by recommended hair restoration physician Dr. William Lindsey:
I am having a small FUE procedure of around 700 grafts. If one day my balding progresses and I need a larger session, will the FUE have reduced the total amount of grafts I will be able to get from a future FUT hair transplant?
I have written several times that I think that follicular unit extraction (FUE) is potentially over-recommended. For me, it’s perfect for someone who is not likely to go “real bald”, someone who needs a smaller case(s) and who is a poor scar candidate or someone who is extremely worried about the scar line. That said, we have a few patients who are in the process of getting a series of FUEs to get up to 3,000 grafts so that they can wear a very close haircut.
For guys that need a smallish case, like a patient we did last week, I tell them that they can always keep doing more FUEs if they need little tuneups but, they could switch to follicular unit transplantation (FUT) if they need to down the road. I suspect that after a few FUEs the strip yield will have a little scar tissue in it but that it will still yield a nice quantity of follicular unit grafts if needed.
William H. Lindsey, MD, FACS