Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) is a relatively new procedure, however, the process has been in development for almost 30 years. Here is a brief history from when the procedure was first recorded to where we are today:
Dr. Masumi Inaba introduces the use of a 1mm needle for grafts. This instrument is vital for developing FUE methods.
Dr. Ray Woods publicly demonstrates FUE in Australia.
Dr. William Rassman, Dr. Robert Bernstein, Dr. Wojciech Szaniawski and Dr. Alan J. Halperin publish the first paper on Follicular Transplantation.
Dr. Seager helps popularize FUE with a microscope video that features dissection of follicular units.
Dr. William Rassman and Dr. Robert Bernstein publish “Follicular Unit Extraction: Minimally Invasive Surgery for Hair Transplantation.”
Dr. Jim Harris devises the Surgically Advanced Follicular Extraction (SAFE) system to further minimize hair follicle transections.
International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) discuss the role of robotic FUE devices.
Dr. Miquen G Canales and Dr. David Berman present their research at the annual ISHRS meeting.
The Evolution of FUE
While early FUE procedures offered significant improvements over Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – such as no large scars or long recoveries – there were several drawbacks at the beginning such as: high rates of transection, scarring, while was less severe was still evident, and the fact that the procedure requires substantial skill and years to master.
The overall understanding of follicle structures significantly increased since the late 1980s, resulting in more effective treatments. The use of a smaller tool minimized scarring and shallower punctures reduced the rate of graft transection. FUT may have improved its technique and remained prominent into the 21st century, but FUE’s constant evolution was quickly gaining attention.
Recent advances in FUE focus on machine automation. While efficient, this procedure type is still developing and manual skill is imperative. The surgeon’s experience makes all the difference
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