FUE Hair Transplant Repair – Part 2
FUE hair transplant repair is becoming more common every day but what a lot of you may not realize is that there are two forms of FUE hair transplant repair. The first type of FUE hair transplant repair is what you may already be thinking, in that FUE is used to repair hair transplant procedures that were performed using the strip method. When FUE was
first introduced by Dr. Ray Woods this approach comprised of much of how FUE was used and as FUE became more popular it seemed that everyone that had a bad strip procedure was instead turning to FUE to have the bad work repaired. This would usually involve using FUE extracted grafts to continue the work that was being performed by the previous strip work in order to add density and or to fill in wide strip scars to make them less visible with shorter haircuts. The work would also sometimes be performed for refinement of pluggy hairlines or just bad work overall. However, as you can see in the video below, the traditional idea of what FUE hair transplant repair involves may no longer be what you thought.
In this video Dr. Cooley is using FUE to repair a bad FUE procedure already performed on the patient by another clinic. This helps to highlight the fact that not all FUE is the same, just like all strip work is not the same, and this also highlights one of the problems with FUE today. The growth of the procedure overall has greatly outpaced the proliferation of proper hair restoration patient education and for this reason we're see more FUE hair transplant repair procedures overall. The allure of FUE as a procedure for patients has become a massively attractive business opportunity that is simply too hard to resist. To understand what I mean you have to look at the facts regarding FUE in general.
- It is much easier to start performing FUE. This is because FUE does not require a substantial equipment cost to begin work. If one wishes to start off as inexpensively as they can they will purchase manual, disposable punches to score the skin and basic forceps to extract grafts. These are all very cheap instruments that can be purchased at most medical supply outlets. One only need to rent space in a strip mall and as a single, lone practitioner, they can begin performing FUE surgery.
- The ease of offering FUE includes a much lower financial investment for the practitioner. Aside from the basic tools needed for FUE the normal investment that comes with the traditional strip based office is not necessary. Strip clinics need a larger space for their operations because they need to have more personnel. This includes technicians but also usually some sort of office manager or receptionist to help organize the daily schedule. This alone adds a tremendous amount of overhead to any office, medical or otherwise, due to the salary pay out and other expenditures that go along with having employees. A modern strip hair transplant clinic also has a much higher overhead cost with equipment, as each technician will require a high quality stereoscopic dissecting microscope, each of which costs thousands of dollars each. If you have a larger staff this is an investment that reaches into the tens of thousands of dollars.
- The complexity of the procedure aids in the speed and ease of adoption. Make no mistake about it, FUE is very difficult, in part due to the blind nature of each and every incision. No one can directly visualize the graft while it is being scored and extracted so it has taken a lot more trial and error for modern FUE specialists to understand the procedure and to adapt their skillset. With strip however, you are dealing with a much more complicated overall procedure due to the invasiveness of the surgical approach. The doctor is performing real surgery that requires the opening of a relatively large wound, the removal of a large strip of skin tissue, and the surgical training necessary to properly close the wound with sutures or staples.
There are many more nuances that go into making strip surgery a much more involved and comprehensive procedure compared to FUE but these points should help to get my point across in that the nature of operating an FUE only clinic is one of the reasons why we're seeing more FUE hair transplant repair cases. If you have any questions or comments be sure to add them in the comments sections.