Graft Survival Rate for FUE
If the FUE procedure is performed properly, the graft survival rate is very high (greater than 90%) in my opinion and comparable to the FUT method. However this depends on many factors such as the skill of the surgeon, how the grafts are handled and stored, length of time grafts are outside of the body, and experience of the team placing the grafts. All of these factors need to be accounted for in order to have excellent results.
Doctors in the hair transplant field initially failed to perform the FUE procedure with good results, consistency, efficiency and with minimal transection damage to the grafts, so results were generally poor despite proclamations by many doctors to the contrary in the years prior to 2009. The market demand for FUE started to rise and more and more doctors wanted to offer the technique, but failures plagued the field. What was needed was the robotic technology we envisioned (like the Artas®), but that would be a very expensive engineering project, so most doctors tried to master the manual techniques with a wide variety of instruments developed, at times, by the doctors themselves. Some instruments were good like Dr. Jim Harris’s ‘Safe System’ and some doctors produced terrible instruments that failed to create quality grafts. Many patients became victims of the failures which were all too common. Some of these patients found their way to our office so we became significantly aware of the FUE problem that our 2002 published paper created. In 2006, Restoration Robotics, Inc. was formed with a mission to build a robot for hair transplantation and financed the effort properly. Finally, in 2011 (just 9 years after we published our breakthrough article on FUE and five years after the engineering project was started), Restoration Robotics introduced the Artas® robot which fully addressed the frequent failures seen with the manual FUE process. Some doctors with great experience can perform manual FUE successfully, but the one way to be sure about the quality of the FUE grafts you will get, will be to get a doctor who uses the ARTAS, which levels the playing field for FUE if the doctor does not have significant experience with the Manual FUE process. The best way to find out, ask to see their FUE patients. Some of our FUE patients come to monthly Open House events to show patients like you, what their results look like.
What is the failure or success rate of hair transplantation?
The regrowth rate of transplanted grafts by FUE is more than 90%. However, we must bear in mind that all hair loss occurs over time. This includes hair loss in the donor area. Accordingly, since transplanted follicles are from the donor area, regardless of the positive outcome of hair restoration surgery, one may experience a 10-15% loss of the transplanted hair as well. However, this is over a lifetime. Therefore, the idea of a “safe donor” area is unfounded.
Hair transplantation is an art, the art of illusion. As in all aesthetic surgery, there is no standard, nor is there a guaranteed satisfactory result for everyone for the whole lifespan. We are essentially all just trying to steal some years away from real life. In the video below you can visualize the donor management in detail.
Failure rate and type of hair
Typically more than 90% of the grafts should grow. Curly haired patients can have a decreased yield.The procedure is more operator dependent for curly haired or african american patients.
It depends on your exam and your hair quality and the doctor who is performing the surgery.
Dr Rassman and Dr. Bernstein published the failure of FUE back around in the mid 2000's. You can search for that article on our website. They called it FOX negative (FUE negative). The article points out that not all patients are good candidates for FUE surgery. The article advocated for doctors to "test" each patient before committing to surgery. For example, many patients with curly hair is not a good candidate for FUE surgery because the failure rate will be very high. Despite the advancement in technology and technique, this remains true.
Many doctors or clinics (some that sound like expense Italian clothing) have been sued for failure rates in the past.
FUE hair transplantation has a very high success rate if it is done right. Unfortunaltely this procedure is very operator dependant and the result may vary depends of the skill set of the surgeon. In right hands the resuts should be comaprable to other FUT methods.