Hair Transplant is a surgical cosmetic procedure to help people restore their lost hair in a natural way. There are a number of over the counter anti-hair fall shampoos and conditioners as well as oral medications – mostly multivitamins – to help people combat hair thinning. But there is hardly any shampoo, conditioner or drug that could help combat baldness.
If you are also seeking a solution for baldness, don’t be upset, we have a better, result-oriented solution for you in the form of Hair Transplant Surgery. People with bald patches can restore a full – or at least fuller – head of hair through hair transplant surgery. Hair transplantation typically uses either of the following two techniques:
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) – involves removing hair follicles one by one from bald resistant donor area, using a round micro-punch, and then transplanting them into the patient’s balding areas
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – also known as strip method hair transplant involves removing a thin strip of hair-bearing scalp grafts from the back or side of the head and transplanting them to a bald or thinning area
Both FUT and FUE Hair transplant are out-patient procedures performed in a clinic set-up under local anesthesia without sedation. However, if you are highly sensitive to pain or have hospital anxiety or surgery fear, your doctor may prefer performing the surgery with sedation. Let’s have a look at how FUT and FUE are performed.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Restoration Process
During Follicular Unit Extraction, individual follicular unit grafts are extracted individually from a bald resistant area using a micro-punch, typically ranging from 0.7 to 1 millimeter in diameter. Before extracting the follicular units, the hair in the donor area is cut short so that the surgeon is able to clearly see the scalp of the patient.
The extracted follicular units are either immediately placed into the pre-made recipient sites on the balding areas, or are collected in a special holding solution. But it totally depends on the surgeon’s preference and does not affect the quality of hair follicles. Saline solution is generally used to hold the extracted hair follicles, but buffers, antioxidants, and nutrients are also in practice.
Once enough grafts have been extracted, they are then transplanted into the recipient area. The surgeon will first prepare the recipient area by making several tiny incisions on the patient’s scalp in the recipient areas. Follicular units will be then placed in these tiny incisions, one unit in each incision. This completes an FUE hair transplantation.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) Hair Restoration Process
The first step in FUT Hair Transplant is administering local anesthesia to numb the donor site. Then a strip of hair-bearing scalp grafts is removed from the donor area, usually the back and sides of head. Once the donor tissue (strip of hair-bearing scalp grafts) has been removed, the donor area is sutured together, using either an absorbable thread or an un-absorbable thread.
The next step is preparing follicular units for transplantation in the recipient area. The clinical team then dissects the donor strip into follicular units, consisting of one to four hair follicles. Once the donor strips have been divided into follicular units and are ready to be transplanted, the patient is again given local anesthesia, this time in the recipient areas. Preparation of recipient area and transplanting the dissected follicular units is similar to the one in FUE hair transplant.
Difference between FUE and FUT Hair Transplant
As explained above, the basic difference between the two is the way the follicular units are obtained. Some other notable differences between the two techniques are:
- FUE hair transplant is less invasive in nature as compared to FUT
- FUE does not produce the “linear scar” in the donor area associated with FUT
- FUE has fast recovery and healing times than FUT hair transplant
- FUE causes less post-operative pain and complications than FUT
- FUE is ideal for small and specialized cases, such as eyebrow reconstruction
Whether you are using FUT or FUE hair transplantation technique, special attention must be given to the depth, location, and angle of the transplanted hair follicle, since this will decide how natural-looking hairline you get.