Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) in La Jolla and San Diego

Follicular Unit Excision

Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) is a hair-transplant surgical technique that was developed as an alternative to the traditional FUT, or strip, surgery. Follicular Unit Excision in San Diego may be an excellent option for you. Like any surgical procedure, there is no one solution for all patients, and during your consultation in our San Diego, CA, office, Dr. Carman will review your options and suggest the best surgical path to achieving your hair-restoration goals.

FUE vs FUT Techniques

FUE can be described as exciting individual follicular units one at a time. In a traditional hair transplant surgery utilizing FUT donor harvest, an incision is made to remove a linear strip of tissue from the scalp. The harvested tissue is then dissected under a microscope to create the individual follicular units.

The difference between the two procedures related to the donor area is how they potentially scar. In a traditional strip procedure, a person will have a linear scar line across the donor area. In an FUE procedure, there will be small circular dotting from the excision sites, which may or may not be apparent, as this varies from patient to patient.

Both of these procedures have been proven effective to treat hair loss when used in the appropriate clinical setting.


Follicular Unit Excision Before Photo
Follicular Unit Excision After Photo

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Understanding the Details Behind FUE

The Advantages of FUE

  • There is no linear incision and no linear scar.
  • In some cases, patients can wear shorter hairstyles.
  • It is most useful for patients who have had multiple procedures and who cannot have donor hair harvested using traditional strip surgery methods.
  • It is excellent for patients who need repair work, for example, to cover wide scars by adding hair to the scars.

Disadvantages of FUE

  • An FUE procedure usually takes longer than the traditional strip method.
  • FUE procedures limit the number of grafts that can be harvested at one time.
  • There is small white dotting in the areas of excision, with a loss of follicular units per square area.
  • The hair mass in the donor region becomes less dense as a result of excision, which may be cosmetically significant.
  • The cost of an FUE procedure is usually higher than traditional strip surgery.
  • Recovery time is longer, as the large shaved area in the donor is apparent for up to two weeks.


Dr. Timothy Carman is the best! […] He made me feel like a friend versus a patient. He takes pride and has passion for what he does, and that is what’s most important in this line of work. He’s a true artist, and I had my procedure done 2 months ago and I couldn’t be happier. I highly recommend!

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Ideal Candidates

The best candidates for Follicular Unit Excision are those who suffer from hair loss around the front of the hairline, top of the head, or right at the crown while the back of the head remains covered with thick hair. This remaining hair in the back serves as donor hair. The denser it is, the more hair can be restored.

As with any hair transplant technique, FUE can be performed on people in good health with sufficient hair loss, enough donor hair, a healthy scalp, and reasonable expectations of the treatment’s outcome.

People with the curliest hair shafts might be denied FUE, because dealing with subsurface angulation and hair curliness is considered the biggest challenge for this hair transplantation technique.

Your Follicular Unit Excision Consultation

During the initial consultation, we will ask you about the impact of hair loss on your life and explain how Follicular Unit Excision can help. We will also ask you to tell us about your medical history so we can evaluate your suitability for the treatment. We will listen to your concerns and goals, assess your hair density and scalp, and determine how many grafts you will need to get a natural look.

After assessing your hair, we will discuss what will happen on treatment day, what recovery will be like, and what you will need to do to ensure proper healing. Feel free to ask questions during the consultation.

The FUE Hair-Transplant Procedure

FUE can be broken down into 3 distinct sub-procedures.

  1. Excision Phase:

During the excision phase, the follicular units are harvested from the donor region, which traditionally is located on the back and the sides of the scalp. That area is first shaved very close to the scalp to accommodate the actual excision process.

Next, fine punches are used to superficially incise a circular cut around each follicular unit to be harvested. Following that, the follicular units are gently pulled out from the surrounding tissue using fine forceps.

The excision process does take significant time and should be performed only by the surgeon to achieve high-quality graft harvest results. The excision phase is the only difference from traditional FUT hair transplantation.

  1. Site Creation Phase:

The second part of an FUE procedure, which is similar to strip excision, is creating the places to insert the follicular units for transplant.

The follicular units must be set into the scalp at exactly the right depth, angle, location, and density to achieve a completely natural and aesthetically satisfying appearance. In addition, this needs to be done without damaging the patient’s pre-existing hair.

  1. Graft Placement Phase:

This part of the procedure may last for 3 to 4 hours or more depending on the number of follicular units that are extracted for the individual patient’s procedure.

Recovery After an FUE Procedure

The recovery time for FUE vs. FUT is related more so to the appearance of the back of the patient’s head, as it is shaved very close. It will usually take most patients at least ten days for the hair to grow in a fashion that cosmetically covers the excision sites.

After an FUE procedure, you may have pain or discomfort for a day or two; however, this is well addressed by post-op medications. There may be residual numbness on the scalp that could last for a few months during the healing process.

How Much Does an FUE Hair Transplant Cost?

Our team is dedicated to helping patients comfortably afford the price of FUE. Hair transplants are elective procedures that involve high costs that may be too significant for many individuals. During your consultation, Dr. Carman and our staff will review what surgery options are available for you to achieve your cosmetic goals. We will also provide you with payment options including credit cards and patient financing. You will find out more about the details of the treatment’s cost during the consultation.

Learn More During a Consultation

At La Jolla Hair Restoration Medical Center®, we’re dedicated to using Follicular Unit Excision in San Diego (as well as other techniques) to help those dealing with hair loss find a solution that allows them to reclaim their full head of hair and the confidence that comes with it. To find out more about Follicular Unit Excision (FUE), contact our San Diego, CA, office to set up your informative consultation. We’ll carefully guide you throughout the entire process and address any questions or concerns that you may have along the way.

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