What Is Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)?
Comparing FUE And FUT, Which Is Better?

The main difference between the two lies in the way the follicle units are extracted, the remainder of the hair transplant procedure is essentially the same. In an FUT, the strip technique is used, by which a strip of the scalp with hairs on it is taken from the back of the head, with its hair follicles subsequently being extracted. Using FUE, individual follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp.

Some patients desire FUE simply because they heard that FUE is less invasive and it will not leave behind a scar mark than FUT. Which is not true, the fact is that both procedures involve surgery and in both cases the depth of the incisions is the same. The difference is in the type of incision made. FUE will leave behind scar marks at donor site but these will be multiple, small circular and diffusely spread over the donor area. So FUE will leave behind minimum scar and it is not scarless. Scar mark of FUT will be single ,linear ,in the middle of donor area.

Comparing FUE And FUT. Which Is Better?

Costs

FUE :

£4-10 / Per Graft. Due to its tedious nature of harvesting each follicular unit one by one, thus driving up prices per graft.

FUT :

£2-5 / Per Graft. It allows a surgeon and the medical team to separate each graft, thus lowering the price.

Scarring

FUE :

It will leave a micro-scars looking like little dots.

FUT :

It will leave a narrow linear scar on the back of the head.

Pain

FUE :

Compared to FUT, FUE entails less pain and blood loss.

The level of pain felt is dependent on a patient's sensitivity to pain. Transplantation is always done under local anaesthesia and is therefore in general completely pain free. One effect of the local anaesthesia when using FUT is a feeling of tension on the scalp. This is however generally only minor and will disappear after a few days.

The Survival Rate Of Follicular Units

FUE :

FUE are much more sensitive, as the extraction technique leaves much less protective tissue around the hair follicles. This ultimately leads to a slightly lower survival. Damage to healthy hair follicles influencing their survival rate, as well as a worse rooting rate, are possibilities in both techniques when the work is not performed in an optimal manner.

The Number Of Grafts And Density

Dependent on the size of the area to be treated, 1000 - 5000 follicular units are generally required. For transplants taking place under ideal conditions, both extraction techniques will provide excellent results. The desired hair density of 30 - 90 FUs per cm² can be achieved with both techniques.

Implanting The Grafts

Comparing FUE And FUT. Which Is Better?

Even when optimally extracted, grafts can still become damaged during transplantation. This in turn will mean that a lower number of grafts actually take root. This can happen when the hair surgeon or his team do not have sufficient experience, skill and/or technical expertise. The surgeon must be skilled enough to work to high aesthetic standards. This involves him being able to implant the right number of grafts in the right places according to aesthetic principles, thereby achieving a hair density result that looks completely natural. This applies to the whole head, though the focus is on the hairline - the right depth and angle of the incisions is of crucial importance for determining what the patient's hair will look like later on.

The incisions in the recipient area, into which the extracted and prepared grafts are implanted, also play a major role in any transplantation. Incisions are best made with scalpels or blades specifically adapted to individual patients - so-called customized blades. Using these, the hair surgeon can match the width, length, depth and angle of the incisions with the direction the patient's hair grows in. The right incisions also help the grafts to quickly connect up to blood vessels and nerves, having a major influence on their survival rate and making the transplant look natural.

Healing

FUE :

Healing after FUE treatment is faster than after FUT and generally free of pain.

FUT :

A temporary numb feeling, which could last for several months in case of FUT, does not occur with FUE.

The swelling in the transplantation area or possibly around the forehead and eyes is dependent on the FU density / size of the area treated or on the number of transplanted hair roots. It occurs with both methods and generally lasts for 6 - 8 days.

Which Is Better?

FUE and FUT have very good success prospects, but there is no one best or right method, each method has its own pros and cons. However, in most cases, FUT has a clear advantage. The grafts are invariably of a higher quality, and a higher quantity can be transplanted. Furthermore, the surgeon is able to isolate the grafts with minimal trauma and without hair disfigurement.

If time is of particular importance, then FUT is a better option than FUE. Because FUE requires the donor area to be shaved, it may not be suitable for people who want to resume work right away. While FUT requires a single session, FUE can take multiple sessions over two or more days.

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