FUE is an art and a lot of experience goes into it to preserve the donor area while extraction.
Avoiding overharvesting and reducing transection of follicles (cutting of hair roots) is relevant to the surgeon’s skill and expertise. The secret is that follicular units chosen for extraction are selected in a specific pattern that will not leave gaps on the scalp hence to create obvious scarring. The extraction points should not be too close and the surgeon must take into account the overall density of the donor area. There are some basic variables that the surgeon can apply to calculate the ratio of grafts available to harvest, in proportion to the availability of the donor area. The surgeon’s aim should be to maximize harvesting by managing to extract the maximum number of hair per graft (Minimize transection) and at the same time ensure that the area does not look visibly thinner. This is down to skill, experience and also artistry, and also taking into account mathematical calculations.
Many doctors or surgical assistants in their effort to increase the number of grafts that can be extracted in a single FUE session and to reach high numbers such as 4000 or 5000, end up performing procedures in the expense of causing damage to the donor area. The correct way that graft harvesting should be planned, is to extract 3000-3500 FUE grafts, according to the patient’s donor density, in a pattern that will not make apparent that these follicular units have been removed.
At NeoFollicleTransplant Clinic using NFT method we seldom harvest more than 3500 FUE grafts and if the patient requires a second session we repeat after an interval of 6 months.
If the patient requires a higher number of grafts to cover his boldness, then a similar amount can be extracted at a 2nd session which will bring the total to what is required for the desired coverage. If for example, the patient needs 5000 grafts, this should be done over two sessions with at least 6 months interval. Methodical extracting will minimize transection rate and at the same time will not deplete the donor area safeguarding it for possible future use. Any number well exceeding 3500 grafts should be done in two sessions.