How are Follicular Units Used in Hair Transplant Surgery?

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)

We live in an age that has seen the greatest sport in the history of medical science. Many of the previously seemingly impossible treatments are now commonplace and done as a part of daily routine. Hair loss has been around for as long as humanity itself. Until the arrival of modern hair transplantation techniques, the solutions to correct the problem were coarse and often ineffective.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is currently the most widely used methods by hair transplant surgeons. One can notice by the name that there is a serious role of follicular units in both procedures. In order to understand how hair transplants work, one has to dig a little deeper into the follicular units and how they are used in order to get their back on our heads.

Follicular Unit

So what is a Follicular Unit?

It is a small, naturally occurring group of one to four hair which is used for the purpose of hair transplant. It also contains nerves, sebaceous glands, some small vellus hair occasionally, and a small muscle.

Extraction of Follicular Units

Extraction of Follicular Units

These are extracted in different ways in different procedures. FUE, which is the latest technique, uses a punch like a mechanism to extract follicular units. This is a better technique of extraction as a single follicular unit is extracted and is ready for transplant.

The technique gets different in FUT where a strip of scalp is cut from the donor site. These leaves a linear scar at the back of the head, the donor site. Afterward, the strip is dissected into the follicular units with the use of a stereomicroscope. Once these are dissected, they are ready for transplant. The dissected follicular units are stored in a saline solution to keep it healthy while the process is being done.

Hair Transplant

Once the follicular units are obtained and dissected (in case of strip method), they are placed in specially made very fine incisions. Each incision has one follicular unit placed in it. The density of these grafts depends on the intended results and how the surgeon plans them. The results of the transplant can be predicted to a good extent but not entirely. After a few weeks of the procedure, this new hair will shed, and new, stronger hair will replace them within a few months. In about a year’s time, the new hair will perfectly gel in and would be as good as they ever were.


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Written By: Dr. Cagatay Sezgin

Dr. Cagatay Sezgin is a celebrity hair transplant surgeon with over 20 years of experience in hair transplantation and restoration. He is the First Turkish Board Surgeon to become a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) and the Asian Association of Hair Transplant Surgeons (AAHRS). Moreover, he has the honor of becoming the first hair transplant surgeon in the world to perform hair, eyebrow, and beard transplantation all in one case and that too in a single session.

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