Hair transplant surgery is something to consider if you have genetic hair loss. Most people opt for surgery over other methods of hair restoration for the following reasons.
- Long-lasting results
- Consistent results
- Realistic results
The two standard approaches to hair restoration surgery are Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). People often wonder which to choose.
When to Choose FUE
There are two ways to harvest hair follicles using FUE. One method involves the surgeon manually selecting and extracting individual hair follicles or grafts, usually from the back or sides of the head, but often from the beard or chest area. Each follicle is manually transplanted, generally near the hairline or the top of the head, where it takes hold, allowing hair to grow where it is lacking. Occasionally the follicles selected are compromised, and additional grafts are needed.
A more reliable approach to obtaining grafts involves using robotic devices to scan the scalp for the most viable hair follicles before they are extracted and transplanted. This method reduces the number of grafts needed to make up for poor quality extractions caused by the surgeon’s hand fatigue and takes the guesswork out of the follicles’ suitability.
When To Choose FUT
FUT is an excellent choice when large numbers of FUE grafts are impractical. By removing a single long strip of tissue containing hair follicles from the back of the head, the surgeon can obtain multiple grafts simultaneously from an area where scarring is not noticeable. The surgeon then transplants sections of that tissue, each containing several hair follicles with varying numbers of hairs, to low growth areas. FUT requires fewer grafts than FUE, which involves the handling of one follicle at a time.
When To Combine FUT and FUE
Sometimes a doctor will recommend a combination of FUE and FUT techniques. For example, suppose a patient has a healthy and full donor area supply from which to harvest but requires a large number of grafts. In that case, a FUT strip can jump-start follicle harvesting. The size of the tissue that a surgeon can safely remove is limited. If the number of grafts exceeds what the FUT technique can supply, FUE can provide the balance.
The length of time and the number of grafts required for a hair transplant depends upon the patient. The amount of surface area requiring coverage and the number of viable hairs within each hair follicle varies. An experienced hair loss doctor, such as Dr. Robin Unger, can recommend the best approach for your unique situation.