Are You A Better Candidate for FUT or FUE Hair Transplant
Strip hair transplants are referred to as follicular unit transplants (FUT). Strip hair transplants involve removing a 2” x 10” section of scalp from the back of the head. A scalpel is used to excise the strip of scalp and the incision is closed in multiple layers. Even with meticulous closure a long, curvilinear scar will be present in the back of the head. FUT hair transplant procedures have a much faster donor hair extraction than FUE hair restoration. Excision and closure of the donor strip takes the surgeon about 30 minutes to complete. FUE hair graft extraction can take 2-4 hours.
In the best cases the scar heals as a fine line. Because there is no hair growth within the scar shaving the head is no longer an option without the stigmata of FUT. If the hair is kept at ½ inch or longer the scar can be camouflaged by neighboring hairs.
Following excision the strip of scalp is sectioned into individual hair follicular units by Dr. Kolstad’s hair transplant team. A follicular unit consists of a hair follicle, 1-4 hair shafts and the surrounding connective tissue. A team of two to six technicians using microscopic dissection typically performs the sectioning procedure removing the excess tissue scalp tissue surrounding the hair grafts. This sectioning process can take 4 hours for the hair team to complete.
When the grafts are ready for insertion Dr. Kolstad will mark the hairline and numb the areas where the hair will be placed. A needle or scalpel is used to create holes or slits in the recipient sites. Each follicular unit is delicately placed into the recipient holes.
Depending on the extent of the procedure, the transplant will take approximately four to eight hours. Additional sessions may be needed if you want thicker coverage.
Advantages of FUT Hair Transplants
• Can perform larger sessions in the same amount of time compared to FUE.
• A smaller area on the back of the head needs to be shaved for graft removal.
• Mega session, transplanting up to 4,000 grafts per session.
• Can treat female pattern baldness in fewer sessions than FUE.
• FUT scars can be camouflaged if the hair is kept at 1/2 inch or longer.
Disadvantages of FUT Hair Transplants
• Leaves a long linear scar on the back of the scalp. Shaving the head is no longer an option because of scar visibility.
• Pulling the scalp together during closure can cause discomfort due to tightness.
• Requires a larger team of hair technicians to section the grafts which can increase cost of the procedure.
• More invasive.
• Numbness at the surgical donor site.
• More bleeding.
• More chances of infection.