How Long Does an FUE Procedure Take?
A quick and painless treatment, FUE surgery is an increasingly common procedure for patients in the UK or those travelling to meet one of our internationally accredited teams. While the duration of the procedure can vary on a case-to-case basis, it is often easy to get an estimate of the timings to plan your schedule accordingly.
So, how long does an FUE procedure take to complete and what elements can cause the duration of your surgery to change?
How long does the process take?
In order for a doctor to answer this question, they need to be provided with answers to three key questions.
1. Does the patient have any medical conditions that need to be accounted for?
2. What procedure is being deployed?
3. How many grafts are being implanted in the session?
This can allow them to give a ballpark figure for the time it will take, and one that can be passed on to the individual undergoing the procedure. Let’s take a closer look at some of the elements which can adjust the duration of an FUE procedure:
The patient has a pre-existing condition: Some medical conditions or medications can cause complications when using local anaesthesia. While this is likely not to be an issue, understanding your prognosis can let the medical team decide which approach to take for the procedure and if any additional time is required to manage complications that may arise.
What procedure is being used: In this case, a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) can increase the duration of the process due to the ‘hands on’ nature of the operation. It requires a great deal of care when implanting the individual hairs and cannot – or should not – be rushed.
How many grafts are being deployed: The volume of hairs being transplanted will have an impact on the length of the treatment. If this will cause discomfort, the procedure can be broken down into multiple sessions or timed in a more manageable way.
On average, managing these variables will normally result in a procedure that is between two to four hours in duration. This will always be verified with you by a member of our team beforehand to give you ample time to arrange transport and aftercare.
Why does an FUE procedure take so long?
Any surgical procedure will take as long as is necessary to ensure the utmost level of patient care, quality, and safety. As they are cosmetic procedures, all FUE transplants require a great deal of time to ensure the end results are of the highest standard.
This is primarily due to the difficulty involved with the movement of live hair follicles to the desired area. These are normally cultivated from the back or sides of your scalp and then carefully moved. The process takes place under local anaesthetic and every care is taken to ensure your comfort and to minimise scarring or additional complications.
How long will I need to recover after the surgery?
It is worth remembering that an FUE procedure does involve surgical incisions and will require a period of recovery after the process. While scarring is rare, the process does remove hair follicles on an individual basis – leaving minuscule puncture marks on the scalp. While these are small enough to go unnoticed to the casual observer, they will require an average recovery time of seven days to allow for the affected area to fully heal.
It is also worth remembering that any transplanted hair will shed in the immediate aftermath of the procedure. While this may be initially distressing, this is perfectly normal and an expected result of the shock of the procedure on the individual follicles. These will grow back at your standard rate of growth and appear as normal, healthy hair strands. If this is a concern to you, we would recommend looking for keratin or omega-3 supplements to help strengthen your hair and speed up growth. Our team are always more than happy to recommend a follow-up care regimen to make the process and recovery period as easy for you as possible.