Why do most patients still choose a strip procedure even though Dr. Epstein performs so many follicular unit extractions or FUE procedures?
Even though Dr. Epstein performs an average of three to four FUE procedures per week, still 70% of our patients choose a "strip procedure" for a number of reasons. Even though the strip procedure will result in a fine line linear scar on the back of the patient's scalp in the donor area, most patients are not concerned about the scar and will simply wear their hair as short as 3/8" and in some cases 1/4" or number 2 or 3 guard on a buzzer. Furthermore, many patients would like to obtain as many grafts as possible from the donor area, which is much easier to do with a strip procedure than FUE. While we can typically obtain between 1,000 to 1,500 FUE grafts in a single day, strip procedures can generally yield many more grafts, the average size being around 2,500 grafts in a single procedure, although in many cases we can go well over 3,000 or even 4,000 grafts in a single strip procedure if it is appropriate and the patient's donor area can yield that many grafts. Furthermore, FUE generally costs more than any strip procedure due to the fact that it typically takes twice the amount of time, if not longer, to transplant the same amount of grafts. Finally, we find that the overall regrowth percentage, or the number of transplanted follicles that eventually regrow, is a bit lower with FUE than with a strip procedure.
Posted by Jeffrey S. Epstein, MD, FACS