The FUT Hair Transplant

Strip removal and relocation of follicular units (FUI) follicular unit transplantation

This method is a form of the micrografting technique. Before describing this method, it is important to know that scientists describe hair and growing in follicular units (FU). One follicular unit is a naturally occurring bundle of hairs that emerge from an individual root. Another term for follicular unit is ‘graft’.

This image shows a follicular unit under a microscope:

follicular-units2

Follicular Units

When you look at the above image, you’ll see innumerable FU. Every FU includes 1-5 individual hairs.

In FUT, the extraction procedure involves a large section of tissue being excised from the donor fringe. This is completed using a scalpel. Following this, the tissue is prepared for the purpose of separating it into individual follicular units. This is distinct from the micrografting technique illustrated below:

Prior to the strip

shaven-area-strip

The strip extraction

the-strip

Directly following the strip extraction

after-strip-hair-transplant

This image shows the surgical dissection of the tissue and the preparation of the tissue for transition in individual follicular units:

microscope

Microscopic image of the dissection

Following this, a microscope is used to guide the dissection of the “strip” into individual follicular units. After this has taken place, the individual FU are inserted into the microscopic incisions on the recipient site.

This image shows several follicular units that have been dissected:

images-1-2-3-4-follicular-units

The primary objective of this technique is to facilitate naturalistic outcomes, thereby meaning that the occurrence of a hair transplant is undetectable. This is achieved by seamlessly transitioning the follicular units. It is important to note that this outcome cannot result from the micrografting technique.

Advantages of FUT

– Not as time-intensive as FUE.
– More follicular units can be extracted in a certain period than is the case with FUE.
– Cheaper than FUE.
– High growth yields.
– High density.
– Minimal or negligible shock-fallout*.
– True-to-life outcomes.
– No requirement to transplant skin to the recipient site.

Disadvantages of FUT

– Given the permanence of the linear scar that inevitably results from the nature of this procedure, the choice of hairstyles following the treatment is naturally restricted. To be specific, short hair cannot be worn; the length of the hair that must be worn is directly related to the size of the scar. Here, it is important to note that the scar’s width is usually dependent on factors that vary from person to person, including skin elasticity and genetic predispositions. As an approximate guideline, the width of scars range from 2 mm to 1 cm.

– The rate of recovery is slower than is the case with FUE. This results in a longer period of tension and pain at the rear of the scalp.

– Owing to the nature of the procedure, it is inevitable that many follicular units will be destroyed.

* Shock-fallout (also known as shockloss) refers to the phenomenon of existing hair at the recipient site falling out. This occurs when follicular units are inserted in the region between existing hairs. Shock-fallout is not permanent, and the hairs are subject to regrowth in three to four months.