Follicular Unit Extraction: The FOX Procedure
The FOX™ Procedure, has been in development at NHI for over five years. In this technique, individual follicular units are extracted directly from the donor area without the traditional linear incision in the back of the scalp. The small wounds do not require suturing and heal within one week.
Advantages of this technique are that it leaves a virtually imperceptible mark in the donor area and physical activities are not limited post-operatively as they are by the linear excision of traditional surgery. This technique is called The FOX™ Procedure or Follicular Unit Extraction.
4 Days after a FOX™ Procedure
With wet hair combed horizontally, note the rapid healing of the donor area.
With wet hair combed down, the small wounds in the donor area are not visible.
Scalp hair grows in naturally occurring groups called Follicular Units. Each follicular unit contains from 1 to 4 hairs. In Follicular Unit Transplantation, a single strip of skin is harvested from the scalp in the back of the head and then, using special microscopes, the strip is dissected into individual, naturally occurring follicular groups of 1-4 hairs. This technique, pioneered by the New Hair Institute, has many advantages. These include completely natural results, no scarring in the recipient area, fast healing, and the ability to perform large sessions so that the restoration can be completed in a short time span. The disadvantage of this technique is that it produces a linear scar in the donor area, although the scar is generally very fine.
A limitation of the FOX™ Procedure is that it may cause transection (cutting) of the follicles. This can potentially result in decreased growth in transplanted follicles and a decrease in overall yield from the procedure. At NHI, we only perform procedures on patients who we can expect to have full yield and growth from the extraction technique.
The FOX™ Test can identify those individuals with the optimal hair and scalp characteristics to get maximum benefit from the FOX™ Procedure. In the FOX™ Test, follicular unit extraction is performed in a sample area in the back of the scalp. The FOX™ Test is performed under local anesthesia and takes about 15 minutes. Patients who are FOX positive will be good candidates for Follicular Unit Extraction. If the test is negative, conventional strip removal with microscopic dissection is the best option. Presently, we are limiting the procedures to only those who are FOX positive.
Our initial research in the FOX™ Procedure and Follicular Unit Extraction has been published in "Dermalogic Surgery".
Present indications for the FOX™ Procedure
What To Do Next
- Patients with limited hair loss or those who require small sessions
- The treatment of small cosmetic areas, such as eyebrow restoration
- Those who wear their hair very short
- Patients with very low donor supply, a scarred donor area or very tight scalps
- Selected repair procedures
- The camouflage of traumatic scars or donor scars
- Athletes who must resume full activity soon after the procedure
- Patients who tend to heal with wide scars
If you are interested in learning more about this technique and want to find out if you are a candidate for the procedure, you may make a personal consultation with an NHI by scheduling a free consultation.
* FOX = FOllicular Unit EXtraction