FUE vs. NeoGraft vs. ARTAS
Modern advancements in hair restoration techniques have made it possible to achieve thick, healthy hair with minimal downtime. One of the leading methods is manual FUE or follicular unit extraction. Rather than older “strip” methods, this minimally invasive surgery involves manually extracting individual hair grafts from the back of the patient’s head and implanting them into thinning areas. The result is natural-looking hair density and a well-defined hairline.
Over the years, technology has automated some of the steps required in manual FUE procedures. These technologies include the NeoGraft and ARTAS systems. Learn more about how these procedures differ and which one is best for your hair restoration needs.
Manual Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Manual follicular unit extraction is considered to be one of the best methods of surgical hair restoration. It is also the technique that requires the highest amount of precision, skill, and artistry. Due to the manual dexterity required, many surgeons use robotic-assisted technologies.
Dr. Christopher Varona is one of the few surgeons who performs this critical step himself. He firmly believes that graft harvesting should be approached as artistically as the transplanting process.
This is because the punching techniques used to harvest the hair play an essential role in the overall aesthetic result. Punch size is directly related to the potential scarring produced from this surgery; the smaller the punch size, the less visible scarring will be.
When performed by a skilled expert such as Dr. Varona, both the donor and recipient sites blend in seamlessly with the patient’s natural growth pattern. FUE is an excellent choice for those who are seeking a long-term solution to hair loss, but who don’t want visible evidence of having undergone a procedure.
Dr. Varona’s ability with this technique allows him to complete 4,000 or more grafts in one day, and he can make graft punches as small as 0.7-0.8 mm. All these factors contribute to superior aesthetic results and virtually imperceptible scarring.
NeoGraft is a type of follicular unit extraction but, instead of your surgeon personally performing the graft extractions, a specialized device is used. This device has a piston-driven motor and uses pneumatic pressure to, essentially, suction out the individual hair grafts. It then applies controlled pneumatic pressure again to insert the grafts into the scalp.
This treatment is initially attractive to patients because it does not require scalpel incisions or sutures. However, the suction action of the device can potentially damage the hair grafts.
It also uses a larger punch size, which may result in visible scarring. While it may achieve a higher number of grafts in one session, it offers much less control and precision when compared to manual FUE.
Patients should also be wary of unqualified technicians performing this procedure. Some clinics have doctors who do not specialize in hair restoration performing the entire process. Hair restoration, in general, requires meticulous surgical skill, and you should only trust an experienced surgeon to perform your hair restoration procedure.
ARTAS is another technology that some surgeons use for follicular unit extraction. Theoretically, the ARTAS system has an advantage because the robotic device cannot become fatigued during extractions. However, this very crucial step requires the kind of artistic insight that is only possible when an actual surgeon is performing the procedure.
Extraction with ARTAS is also much slower, and it doesn’t offer the same level of precision required for optimal aesthetic results. ARTAS typically uses a larger punch size when extracting grafts (which can increase scarring), and it tends to be limited in its ability to maximize the potential donor areas fully.
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Schedule a Consultation in Newport Beach, CA
If you’re having trouble deciding whether FUE or FUT is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a personal consultation at Varona Hair Restoration in Newport Beach. At your meeting, Dr. Varona will assess your hair loss, discuss your ultimate cosmetic goals, and answer any questions you may have.
Based on your preferences and the hair density you’d like to achieve, Dr. Varona will create a customized treatment plan for you. This plan may include surgical hair restoration, a non-surgical treatment, or a combination of both. We’d be happy to help you explore your full range of options. Contact us today to take the next step and start living life confidently.