The expanding needle concept (ENC) is used in Manual FUE hair transplant as it works with individual hair follicular unit grafts to be extracted directly from the scalp a hypodermic needle is used to score the scalp skin or dermis till the erector pili muscle surrounding each follicular unit, replacing the traditional technique to cutting the skin around the follicular units with a rigid punch. This technique secures the hair grafts from damaging.
Why is it called Expanding Needle Concept
The hypodermic needle supposedly expands as it cuts the epidermis and extends inside the fatty tissue with it’s tip scoring tissue around the follicular unit. Meanwhile with a fine tipped forceps the tip of the follicular unit is gripped avoiding transection. The whole step is done under microscopic view.
How it works
The hair at the donor zone is shaved at least 3days prior to the hair transplant surgery, which is to determine hair follicles at their anagen/telogen phase. Seemingly, the selected hair follicular unit grafts are individually plucked with a forceps one at a time, loosening them from the scalp tissue with the use of the hypodermic needle/ ENC technique around the top of the follicular units. Once extracted, they are implanted in the same strenuous way of implanting one graft at a time. The graft replacement or actual hair transplantation step is same with FUT and FUE hair transplant, the difference is in the graft extraction step.
A general sitting of FUE hair transplant prolongs up to 10 hours with an extraction of 800-1200 follicular unit grafts, sometimes two more sittings are required in case of bigger requirement of transplants.
The biggest advantage of FUE is that it allows a quick healing without any scarring and the puncture wounds made by the punch close in within days after the surgery, with less or no discomfort.
However, since this hair transplant procedure requires such hard strenuous work, hence, it is an expensive procedure than FUT. Moreover the individual extraction of hair from the donor area regards to the thinning of the area while FUT allows and evened preservation of the density.
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