Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is considered to be a minimally invasive procedure, and the injury to the donor area caused by a sharp punch may result in dermal fibrosis and clinically observed hypopigmentation.
To evaluate with advanced image processing the efficacy of using 0.9% normal saline in minimizing the injury to the donor area in FUE donor harvesting.
Patients and methods
The term acute extraction (AE) is used to describe the donor harvesting technique, whereby a follicular unit (FU) is removed with a punch that is aligned parallel with the exit angle of the hair follicle. The term vertical extraction (VE) describes the technique where a FU is removed in like manner, but normal saline is injected intradermally prior to harvesting so the punch being perpendicular to the skin. Thirty-five patients were selected for this study to apply both harvesting techniques and then to compare the differences in wound surface size and skin mass removed by the punch.
A significant reduction in the mean values of wound surface and skin mass was recorded in vertical extraction compared to those in acute extraction.
The injection of normal saline prior to harvesting proved to be very efficient in minimizing skin injury in FUE harvesting.