I talked to one hair transplant surgeon and he said if the transection rate during surgery is too high, he would stop the operation. This made me think that transecting a follicle during follicular unit extraction (FUE) kills the follicle, depleting that source of donor hair. Even before this conversation, I thought transecting a follicle also kills the follicle.
But, then talking to another doctor, he stated that during FUE extraction, if there is transection, the lower part of the follicle stays in tact and thus will grow back fully. Is this true?
The issue of transection is easy to confuse, sometimes by design. Transection is by definition the cross cutting of a follicular unit in vivo. When you read studies about transection they usually are controlled in a manner that allows the top half to be transected or the bottom half will be transected, very neatly. In surgery, when a follicle is transected, it is not in a controlled manner bisecting the top half from the bottom half. It is in a slightly parallel, diagonal direction where some or all of the follicle will be destroyed.
If you are targeting a four hair follicular unit and transection occurs you will wind up with a follicular unit that will grow three hairs instead of four, or perhaps only one hair out of four. In inexperienced hands, especially those that shake and cannot control the process well, this will be a common occurrence along with very high rates of complete follicular destruction, thereby making the procedure a waste of time, money and of course valuable donor hair.
The challenge is to avoid these transections altogether and only very experienced hands can do this on a consistent basis. This is the key to doing proper research. You should find a hair restoration clinic where high quality results are plentiful and you need not search endlessly to find the next result hidden in some remote corner of the internet or only available upon request.
DavidEditorial 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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