Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is a surgical procedure where hair is transplanted from the permanent zone, the area in the back and sides of the scalp where hair is more resistant to balding, to the bald or balding areas of the scalp. This is accomplished using naturally-occurring groups of 1, 2, 3, or 4 hairs, called follicular units. After the patient’s scalp is anesthetized, the doctor removes a strip of tissue from the donor area, an area within the permanent zone, and, once extracted, the donor strip is cut into many individual follicular units using microscopic dissection techniques. As these follicular unit grafts are being prepared, the doctor makes tiny holes in the scalp, called recipient sites, where the grafts are placed.
THE FUT PROCEDURE:
In FUT, an entire strip of hair is removed from the scalp’s donor area and then the dissection takes place under a microscope. The area from where the strip is taken is stitched carefully, which leaves a linear scar on the scalp. The intention of follicular unit transplantation is to take hair from a donor area, and transplant it into the area where the balding is most pronounced. Normally, small follicular units are harvested, and each unit contains anywhere between a single to four hairs.
- You will be administered sedation, local anaesthesia or a combination of both, to ensure that you are comfortable and do not feel any pain or discomfort. In many cases, like at our clinic, anaesthetic gel & high frequency vibrations are also used to reduce the discomfort or pain caused by the injections. So we make sure procedure is virtually pain
- The doctor will make long vertical incisions to remove the strip of scalp with the hair grafts, which will be used for your hair transplant. The exact location of the donor area has to be chosen very carefully, because this has to be the area where the hair density is maximum, as only this can ensure long term stability of the transplanted hair.
- As soon as the strip of hair is removed, it is placed in a physiological solution, which minimizes the body’s natural fluids and gives time to close the wound created by the strip removal.
- The harvested strip is now divided into single layer of hair follicular units called the Slivers. Each sliver is then trimmed for any extra tissue. The grafts are then separated individually which will be finally implanted in the bald area.
- The creation of the recipient site has to be done with precision, because this will decide the complete look. Fine blades or needles are used to create the site and then the angle of hair is decided. A good surgeon will ensure that the sites are created in a way that the final look is completely natural. After the sites have been created the grafts will be transplanted into holes made by the surgeon.
- At the end of the procedure, each of the grafts will be checked again and you will be told about the post op schedule. You will also be given a printed copy of the same, so that you can follow all the instructions. Your donor area will be covered with bandage and you will be able to wear a bandana or cap to provide further protection.
Advantages of “FUT”
The major advance brought by FUT hair transplant procedures is that the use of special stereo-microscopes enables surgeons to meticulously dissect the hair grafts. This helps preserve the integrity of the follicular units and enables the surgeon to keep all of the growth elements of the hair follicle intact. The survival of the grafts is maximized and, as a result, both the hair and the underlying skin will look completely natural when the transplant matures. With FUT hair transplants, thousands of grafts can safely be transplanted in one session, allowing the patient to complete the hair restoration as quickly as possible.
The FUT procedure is usually preferable for people who require a lot of work. This is because it is generally more efficient, and more hairs survive the transplant. It also takes less time to do an FUT so it is usually less expensive than FUE. The reason that FUE is less efficient is because sometimes the punch tool can inadvertently damage the follicle and that can weaken the chances that the follicle will survive.