What is FUT?
Hair transplant surgery Also known as ‘strip surgery’, FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation and is a type of surgical hair transplant known for minimizing trauma to the scalp and producing natural-looking results.
In FUT operations, ‘follicular units’ made up of naturally occurring groups of one-to-four hair, sebaceous (oil) glands, nerves, a small muscle, and occasionally fine vellus hair, are transplanted. Preserving the unit as a whole in this way is thought to help hair growth once transplanted.
Modern Follicular Unit Transportation is considered an advance on older hair transplant techniques which used larger grafts, and often gave obvious and ‘pluggy’-looking results. Transplanting the smaller units used in FUT allows thousands of grafts to be transplanted in a single session, resulting in a more natural-looking effect for the patient. If done well, the new grafts should mimic normal hair growth patterns and be virtually undetectable.
How is FUT different from standard Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)?
The difference between Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) revolves around the way in which the donor hair that is used for the transplant is taken.
For FUT, hair from the back of the scalp is harvested in a single, thin strip. It is then trimmed into individual follicular units under microscopes, with each unit measuring around 1mm in width. Assuming there is an adequate supply of donor hair available from the patient, up to 3,000 grafts can be transplanted at one time, yielding 100 hair per square centimeter. However, this method requires a longer healing time after surgery and leaves a large scar across the scalp, though this can be hidden by longer hair.
Alternatively, FUE uses a robotic ‘punch’ device to remove the follicular units directly from the back and sides of the scalp. This specialized punch allows hair to be removed directly from the skin without causing damage, so it is a non-invasive procedure. This means the scalp will heal faster and patients often show no visible signs of having had a hair transplant, just ten days after surgery.
FUT Hair Transplant Results
The surgical team’s experience and skill set play a decisive role in the success rate of a FUT-Strip hair transplant. Those results can be excellent in terms of density. On the contrary, especially in the area of hairline, FUT – Strip method does not provide a natural-looking result as FUE method does. This happens mostly because FUT-Strip method leads to large sized grafts that do not resemble with the natural, thin, one-haired follicles that originally exist in hairline. As androgenic alopecia is an evolving phenomenon it might necessitate a second hair transplant operation in the future. In the case that a FUT – Strip hair transplant has been performed in the past, the application of a future operation might be a challenging action. The fact that there should take place creation of a second – parallel to the first – incision or an expansion of the existing incision might worsen the already existing aesthetic problem.