Author Bio: Dr. Sanusi Umar MD is the author of this article.
Fluid-Assisted FUE: The Next Step in the Evolution of Hair Transplantation: Fluid-assisted FUE is Dr. U’s answer to many of the commonly-experienced causes of graft loss during an FUE hair transplant. As a significant part of the paradigm shift that is the intuitive FUE movement, fluid-assisted FUE’s primary objective is to reduce the occurrence of graft injury and death as the procedure takes place. This fluid-assisted FUE method also improves rates of survival and regrowth in the recipient area.
Dr. U sees the FUE Process differently. He believes that wherever there are obstacles in the performance, there is work to be done. The Fluid system that he invented and integrated into the DrUGraft Revolution is a visionary addition to the evolution of FUE hair transplant surgery.
The Dr.UGraft ™ FUE Fluid System
Dr.UGraft ™ is comprised of several components.
- The Dr.UGraft ™ Revolution console: this is the CPU of the Dr.UGraft ™ FUE system. The UI and control panel can be found here.
- The Dr.UGraft ™ Nurture handpiece: a titanium handpiece, permanently attached to the cable connecting it to the Revolution console.
- The Dr.UPunch i ™ FUE punch tip: this is the penetrative tool used to score the skin around each graft.
- A dual-pedal control system: the leftmost pedal controls the rotation of the punch. The right pedal controls the fluid irrigation.
- A physiologic fluid bag: this bag is the source of the fluid irrigation itself; it is filled with either Ringer’s lactate or a simple saline solution.
- The Dr.UGraft ™ tubing system: this is the delivery system by which the fluid travels from the bag to the tip of the punch.
All of these pieces of equipment come together to form the Dr.UGraft ™ system as a whole. Once sanitized, the Nurture handpiece is connected to the Revolution console with the attached cord and is armed with the Dr.UPunch i ™ FUE punch tip of your desired gauge. The tubing system is then connected to the bag of physiologic fluid and threaded through the back of the Revolution console in order to connect it to the console’s fluid-pumping system. Once engaged with the pumping mechanism, the foot pedals allow the operator to release liquid at will, completely hands-free.
Facing the Challenges that Come with FUE Hair Surgery
During an FUE hair transplant, grafts can become trapped within the lumen, succumb to death via desiccation when exposed to the air for too long, or injured mechanically when handled too roughly with forceps. All of these hazards can add up, drastically reducing the patient’s final graft count.
Dr.UGraft ™’s fluid-assisted FUE system seeks to address these issues, among others:
- Graft follicles becoming trapped, or impacted, within the lumen during hair restoration surgery. Dr.UGraft ™’s hands-free graft rescue makes this a non-issue.
- Grafts becoming dehydrated between the extraction and transplantation phase of the FUE hair transplant. Fluid-assisted FUE is a natural solution to graft desiccation during FUE hair transplant.
- Torsional injury as associated with the interaction between the punch and the graft itself. Fluid-assisted FUE provides lubrication, reducing the odds of torsional injury.
Improved FUE Results – An Updated, Fluid-Integrated FUE System
Intuitive FUE with the help of the fluid-assisted capabilities of Dr.UGraft ™ seeks to improve FUE method and performance in all of these areas.
What exactly is fluid-assisted FUE? An active, hands-free fluid drip, its flow controlled with a convenient foot pedal below, is activated via the control panel of the Dr.UGraft ™ Revolution console. During the FUE hair transplant, the operator is able to use the physiologic fluid to enhance their performance and dramatically increase the patient’s final graft count.
Hands-Free Graft Rescue
Dr.UGraft ™’s pedal-operated fluid irrigation system protects trapped grafts in multiple ways. Not only does this FUE method release the graft safely without damaging it mechanically; it also keeps it hydrated while this happens, ejecting it into a pool of liquid that protects it from desiccation. Hands-free graft rescue increases yield in all patients and saves time that would otherwise be lost pausing and resuming work repeatedly. The procedure moves forward uninhibited.
Dr.UGraft ™’s fluid-assisted FUE system creates a fluid seal around each graft at the point of excision. Dr.UGraft ™’s ability to completely separate the graft from its anchoring attachments and its built-in fluid irrigation system prevent graft death via desiccation when and where it is most likely to occur. This sets the stage for a carefully-orchestrated sequence of events to take place, the timing of which minimizes the odds of graft transection due to punch misalignment.
In addition to the protective fluid seal each graft is enveloped in during excision, Dr.UGraft ™’s fluid-assisted functionality is also useful when it comes to the maintenance and upkeep of the area where the hair restoration is being performed, excess blood easily flushed away by the small jet of fluid. This feature is equally applicable to the re-hydration of a patch of scored grafts, keeping everything moist until the initial extraction has come to its conclusion.
Dr. U’s Dr.UPunch i ™ FUE punch tip is engineered to deliver a smooth and hassle-free extraction; this optimization is supplemented by the lubrication that fluid-assisted FUE provides as a by-product. The FUE punch tip is allowed in this way to glide in and out of the skin smoothly, causing as little disruption in the surrounding area as possible. This reduction in friction has been shown to minimize torsional injury as it prevents only partially-scored grafts from being twisted by the action of the FUE punch.
Temperature modulation is another key benefit associated with fluid-assisted FUE. As an FUE hair transplant surgery may take many hours to complete, the continuous action of a high-speed rotary punch will consequently begin to generate a fair amount of heat. The fluid acts as a liquid cooling system, carrying the heat away from the sensitive grafts at the FUE punch’s mouth.
Facilitates FUE Punch Penetration
Observation and experience have shown that skin that has been moisturized in some way will allow the operator to score around each graft with a much lower risk of transection. The physiologic solution moisturizes the area, softening it and allowing the FUE punch to perform the extraction with much less resistance from the conditioned skin.
Elongates the Life of the FUE Punch
The lubricating aspect of the Dr.UGraft ™ FUE system greatly extends the life of the Dr.UPunch i ™ by reducing the amount of wear and tear it accrues over time.
Frequently-Asked Questions: Fluid-Assisted FUE, Intuitive FUE, and Dr.UGraft ™’s FUE Method
How does Dr.UGraft ™’s fluid irrigation work?
The feature is activated with the push of a button on the Dr.UGraft ™ Revolution console. Once enabled, the operator can choose the strength of the flow of fluid on a scale of one to five. During the procedure, a foot pedal allows the practitioner to release the fluid, turning it on and off at will as needed.
Can hair surgeons benefit from the Dr.UGraft ™ Revolution console’s fluid-assisted FUE functionality with off-brand or generic FUE punch tips and accessories?
Unfortunately, in order to benefit fully from the fluid-assisted advantage of the Dr.UGraft ™ system, one must make use of the suite as a whole. As Dr.UGraft ™ is the only FUE system that offers fluid-assisted FUE, using other brands of tools in conjunction with the Revolution console will not allow your hair surgeon to utilize the fluid irrigation feature.
What exactly does a fluid-assisted FUE system have to do with intuitive FUE?
Intuitive FUE is a feature of FUE systems that has been designed to be adaptable to changing FUE donor area attributes. Dr. U coined this term having realized that the most important determinant of FUE graft quality is the thickness of the skin. As this factor varies from patient to patient (and, in some instances, from area to area on a single body), flexibility in regard to what an intuitive FUE system is equipped to deal with is vital. A system that can be adjusted to change its mode of attack in response to changing skin characteristics is the defining characteristic of an intuitive FUE system.
Several factors need to be in place for this to occur: the FUE system must have an intelligent punch that is capable of acting intuitively in its own right (such as self-navigation and the ability to correct misangulation and misalignment). The intelligent punch also must be mounted to a hand-piece that is electronically sensitive and responsive to input from the intelligent punch, enabling it to make the measurements and readings necessary to properly adjust itself to dynamic skin conditions. In this context, the fluid system is integral as it affects the output from the intelligent punch as it interacts with skin of different thicknesses, even within the same procedure. The fluid system also creates an air tight water-sealed environment around the graft being scored that augments the intuitive capabilities of the entire system. This lubricanting action assists the punch’s self-navigating functions as it glides through the tortuous path of the hair follicle deep into the skin.
Fluid-Assisted FUE Results with Dr. U in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles
More than just an innovator in the world of FUE hair transplant, Dr. U is passionate about connecting with patients who are experiencing difficulty with a wide variety of hair and skin conditions. To get in touch with the Dr. U Hair and Skin Clinic in Redondo Beach, California, you can give our office a call. The button below allows you to ask Dr. U any questions you may have about hair restoration directly:
The intuitive FUE concept as explained by Dr. U
The Dr.UGraft ™ advantage and the radically different hair restoration experience it provides