Mechanical vs. Manual Graft Extraction
Hair transplantation techniques and equipment have come a very long way. Patients are no longer left with large scars on the nape as a result of strip transplantation procedures, also known as FUT. Improved FUE procedures now offer faster healing, significantly lower discomfort during and after the procedure and much better overall results. The FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction technique, involves the extraction of individual grafts from the back of the patient's head (the nape) and planting these grafts into the recipient areas. Click to read more about follicular unit extraction procedure.
Leading hair transplantation centres worldwide now use what are known as mechanical or motorised extraction tools during the procedure, also known as micromotors, with a combination of oscillated and non-oscillated movements. This advanced equipment allows to transplant 3500-4000 grafts in a day, however requires the surgeon to go through a course in order to learn how to use it. A few years ago there was a perceived debate, where some clinics still advocated the use of FUT over the newly introduced FUE. Today, some doctors do not accept the progress in the field of hair transplantation and continue to use the manual hair follicle extraction tools.
The purpose of this page is to refute some of the widely spread and erroneous assumptions about mechanical extraction techniques.
"The doctor tried the mechanical extractor once and it was not a great success"
In order to excel at just about anything, one needs a certain degree of practice and determination. At getFUE Hair Clinic, the leading hair transplantation specialist has 1000's of hours of experience operating the micromotor. Just as you would not be comfortable flying on a plane piloted by person who has never flown jets before, you would not trust your scalp to a person who has never attempted to use an FUE extractor before. A transplantation specialist who did 100's of transplants using a manual tool and who excelled at it would not be able to seamlessly switch to a motorised extractor. The same way that specialists performing FUT transplants had to re-qualify for FUE, those wanting to switch to a micromotor would need to completely re-adjust to surgery using this new tool. They would not be able to produce the same results with a mechanical tool from the first attempts. Therefore, we advise you to inquire beforehand how much experience a doctor has with a particular instrument.
"Motorized and robotic surgery never can achieve the precision and feeling of manual procedures"
One of the most revolutionary tools of surgery right now is the so-called DaVinci Robotic System. It has received wide application in urology, gynecology and kidney-cancer related surgeries, as well as other fields. The absolute leading physicians in the field are using this system, which allows them to avoid damaging the nerves during the prostatectomy. It is completely robotic tool, whereby the surgery is performed using joysticks.
Claiming that technologically advanced tools, such as the motorized extractors or the robotic surgery systems are not precise is baseless. With the experience of our leading transplatologist, motorized extraction is safe, precise and causes less damage to the tissue than the shaky hands of the those specialists, who still insist on using the manual punch.
"My extraction speed is equal with both techniques"
Unfortunately, humans have limitations both in terms of endurance and concentration. Even the "leading" specialists using the manual extractors admit that they cannot transplant more than 1000-1500 grafts during one day. This is why they are forced to charge up to 6€ per single graft. It is understandable, considering that their extraction speed is many times lower than if they were using one of the newest generation motor extractors. By comparison, have a look at the cost of hair transplantation at our clinic. The process of manual extraction is exceptionally exhausting for both the patient and the doctor. By the time the surgeon gets to the implantation stage, his or her hands are tired, so the quality is reduced as well. In contrast, the latest generation of micromoters allow doctors to transplant up to 4000-4500 grafts during a single day.
"The doctor believes in using the manual extraction as he is happy with the size of tools"
Companies developing motorized extraction tools made sure that they were in every way superior to the outdated generation of manual extractors. The diameter of the punch of the punch used at getFUE Hair Clinics is 0.6-0.9 millimeters, which is directly comparable to the manual extractors still used at some clinics. There is no reason to make that even smaller as this diameter allows to perform Follicular Unit Extraction on even the lightest and thinnest hair grafts.
The next generation in hair transplantation
Completely robot surgical equipment will soon be adapted to hair transplantation procedures. This is indeed the next step for the industry. getFUE is keeping a close look at some of the newest investions in the field.
Meanwhile, have a look at the our new advanced procedure - the Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, which significantly improves regeneration after hair transplants. We are the first hair transplantation clinic in Turkey to offer this procedure.