Follicular Hair Transplant

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The industry standard

The scientific term for the most common form of modern hair transplant surgery is follicular unit transplantation (or FUT). This technique rose to prominence in the 1990s and is considered to be the industry standard today.

The follicular hair transplant technique involves surgically relocating groups of hairs (between one and four hairs, which is how hair naturally grows on the head). This is a vast improvement over past hair transplantation techniques which involved moving much larger grafts.

Pre-FUT Transplants

Prior to the advent of the FUT technique, hair transplant surgeons would typically transplant hair grafts that were about 6 to 8 millimeters in diameter (or about the same size as the diameter of the eraser on a standard pencil). This would often result in an unnatural appearance that many likened to a doll’s hair or a toothbrush. Though the hairs would grow and the patient would no longer suffer from baldness, it would be obvious to most that he or she had undergone hair restoration surgery.

More Natural Results

In an effort to bring a more natural appearance to transplanted hair, surgeons began developing a new technique that used what came to be known as mini-micrografting. Instead of removing large grafts from the sides or back of the head, several thin strips of skin are removed. These strips are then put under a microscope and cut into very small grafts (usually containing one to four hairs, but they may contain as many as 12). These small grafts are known as follicular units and the process is known as follicular unit extraction (FUE).

Once the donor skin is separated into individual units, they are implanted in the balding area. The result is hair that is virtually indistinguishable from the patient’s original hair.

In addition to the natural appearance, another advantage of FUT is that it causes minimal damage to the patient’s skin. Surgeons are able to transplant thousands of follicular units in one session, and since the grafts are so small, surgeons can target recipient sites with tremendous precision.

Follicular Unit Extraction

Follicular unit extraction (often abbreviated to FUE) is a new and improved method of harvesting follicular units for FUT. It allows surgeons to remove follicular units directly from the donor areas of the scalp (using a special needle) and relocate them to the recipient areas. There is no longer a need to remove strips of skin and harvest the follicular units from them.

Many patients get confused and think of FUT and FUE as two totally different techniques. This is not the case. FUE is a type of FUT.

FUE is also the best choice for patients who want to have short hair following their surgery, because it doesn’t leave a linear scar on the scalp.

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