Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is also known as Strip surgery. Until the last 5/10 years, this style of surgery was the most popular method of hair transplant. With this style of surgery more hair units, called grafts, can be transplanted in a single session. This makes it a more cost effective method of surgery as well. To start with the surgeon will remove a strip of hair from the back of the scalp. This area will then be stitched to create a thin line scar. The grafts are taken from this area because these hairs don’t have androgen receptors like the hairs on the top of the scalp. These androgen receptors are what cause genetic hair loss. When transplanted onto the scalp they won’t be susceptible to the DHT like other hairs might be.
The hairs from the strip are divided into their individual grafts by the surgeons team of technicians. Each graft may contain up to 4 hairs, as 1 hair follicle can grow between 1-4 hairs. The surgeon will create the design of where these grafts will be transplanted to. The skill of the surgeon is key here to make sure that the design created looks natural. Depending on the extent of your hair loss, multiple FUT surgeries may be required. Most peoples concern with this style of surgery is the line scar that is caused. An experienced surgeon will be able to hide this scar well, so that you get hair growth coming through the scar to conceal it. If you change your hair style to having the back of your head shaved all the way down, it is possible for this scar to become visible however. Future hair styles are a consideration when opting for a hair transplant.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) differs from FUT in the way in which the grafts are taken from the back of the head, the safe zone. Whereas in the FUT the grafts are taken in one large strip, in the FUE technique the grafts are removed individually. The surgeon will space the grafts removed across the whole safe zone. A skilled surgeon will be aim to maintain an even density of hair across the whole area. A punch size of 0.8-1.0mm is used to remove the individual grafts, leaving behind a small dot scar. In the early days of hair transplant surgery surgeons would use a much larger punch size that could cause much more obvious scarring.
Both types of hair transplant surgery will yield the same end result, and multiple surgeries of either type are usually needed to achieve the full result you may be after. To maximise the grafts you have available it is usually recommended to start with a FUT surgery before switching to FUE with any further surgeries.
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