Follicular Unit Extraction Vs Transplantation

Looking for a hair transplant surgeon? Many inexperienced and unlicensed healthcare providers and even doctors are marketing hair transplants in Michigan and their results are often not satisfactory. It is essential for your results that you work with a hair transplant surgeon who has decades of experience in this specific treatment and is trained/board certified for plastic surgery in Michigan. Request a consultation at the top of the website today and SurgeonGate will have a Michigan hair transplant specialist reach out to you as soon as possible to discuss your options. 

Hair Transplantation is a procedure that removes hair follicles from one part of the body, the donor site and inserts them onto a balding area called the recipient site. Hair follicles that are genetically resistant to balding such as on the back and sides of the head are transplanted onto the top and front of the patient’s scalp. Hair transplants can also be used to restore beard hair, eyelashes, chest hair, and eyebrows. 

What Is Follicular Unit Extraction?

Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE, is the most advanced hair transplantation technique available in Michigan. The technique performed in the past known as Strip Harvesting or FUT resulted in a patchy looking scalp and left patients with a notorious scar. FUE transplants hair in their natural groupings of 1-4 follicles resulting in natural looking hair and no noticeable scarring. Watch the video for a deeper comparison.

What is Follicular Unit Transplantation?

During a FUT, the surgeon cuts a linear strip in the back of the scalp and removes this graft from the body, proceeding to stitch up the strip so that it can begin to heal. They then separate the graft into follicles under a microscope and implant them onto the scalp.

When it comes to alopecia we hear endless techniques, treatments, and methods to combat it. For this reason, choosing the right solution for you can be very difficult. Hair transplantation is a very effective method to treat hair loss permanently. In addition, the use of new techniques has allowed patients to achieve natural, undetectable and lasting results.

At present, the most used hair transplant techniques are FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant). Both techniques pursue the same objective, extract hair follicles from healthy areas of the scalp to be subsequently grafted into areas affected by alopecia. The differences that exist between one technique and another come from the extraction methods. In the FUE technique, the extraction is done follicle by follicle, individually, while in the FUT technique, the gathering of follicles is done by the removal of a strip of scalp tissue from which the follicles will be separated by a scalpel.

Advantages of traditional FUT

Certain types of alopecia progress unstoppably, affecting large areas of the scalp. In these situations, your surgeon might choose to use the FUT method as it allows follicle transplants of up to 10,000 grafts in a single session and can cover very large areas of alopecia.

The FUT method consists of cutting a strip of skin from the back of the head, which contains sufficient healthy follicular units. Once the strip is removed, the donor area must be sutured. This process must be carried out with the greatest possible care, to reduce the appearance of scars. Once the donor area is sutured, the separation of the follicular units from the strip begins under a microscope. As grafts are separated, the delicate process of implantation in the affected area takes place by the surgeon.

The FUE technique has a much more laborious extraction method and therefore less surgery time is needed to perform the FUT technique. The time is also reduced because once the strip of scalp tissue has been removed and the area has been sutured, the surgeon is in a position to immediately begin implanting the grafts, which are provided to him by his nurses. The nurses prepare the grafts, while at the same time, the surgeon places the implants one by one in the patient.

Due to the shorter surgical time, FUT is usually cheaper than FUE. There is also no need to shave the head before surgery, and for this reason, many women opt for the FUT method. Generally, this is a requirement of the FUE technique, although FUE can also be done by shaving only the donor area, with a margin depending on the preference of the surgeon. 

Advantages of follicular unit extraction (FUE)

This technique is more recent and was based on a very effective method similar to FUT. Follicular unit extraction was perfected to the point that the process is safer and less invasive than FUT. Essentially, the FUE method consists of the extraction of the follicular units using a small punch of approximately 0.7-1.0 mm in diameter. Subsequently, the follicles in which the extracted follicular units will be implanted are opened and prepared to accept new hairs. The implantation of follicular units is done manually one by one, starting from the front line of the hair towards the back. Surgeons may also use an automated system such as the ARTAS or NeoGraft system to perform FUE. This makes the procedure easier to perform but has not been shown to improve results.

During FUT, a strip of scalp about 15 cm wide by 1 cm high is cut, which makes it necessary to suture and stretch the skin to cover the donor area. There are no stitches during FUE and there is no scalp dissection as in FUT. For this reason, there are also no scars. The extraction of follicles takes place with minimal incisions, (less than 0.8 mm) so the wounds created will heal shortly without leaving a trace. The FUT technique, on the other hand, causes a large permanent scar. With this being said, the FUT scar can be masked by keeping your hair grown long over it, especially in women.

There is no loss of sensitivity from an FUE procedure. The donor area will quickly recover its sensitivity, unlike the FUT technique, where blood vessels and nerves are cut leaving areas of the scalp insensitive.

FUE also has the quickest postoperative recovery. In the absence of large scars, as in the FUT technique, postoperative care is very lite and recovery is accelerated. Although it is possible to perform several surgeries with the FUT technique, performing several extractions of strips, would cause more scars on the patient’s scalp.

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