Follicular unit transplantation
Follicular unit transplantation is also known as strip harvesting. Follicular unit refers to hair follicle and surrounding tissue. Each unit can contain 1-4 hairs and exit scalp from a single point. In FUT, a strip of skin is taken from the back of scalp by the surgeon and the two edges are sutured. Under the microscope, dissection of follicular units is done from the strip of scalp. These follicular units are then implanted in the balding area after making slits.
Follicular Unit Extraction
FUE, which stands for follicular unit extraction, is a popular method of hair transplantation. In FUE, each follicular unit is extracted from donor area and implanted into the recipient area. This is a more advanced technique in comparison to FUT.
In FUE, individual follicular units are removed with the help of punches of sizes ranging in diameter from 0.6-1.25mm. The follicles thus extracted are implanted one by one on the frontal bald area. This gives a more natural look and avoids a linear scar.
FUE; Advantages over FUT
The major drawback of FUT is the long linear scar on scalp. Recovery period is longer (2 weeks). As the sutures removed by medical personnel, an extra visit to the clinic is required.
- Only small punctate scars, not visible to naked eye
- Possible to keep short hairstyles
- Fast recovery and minimal post operative pain
- No headaches
- Harvesting body hair possible
- Can be done in scalp with low laxity
- Doctors perform both separation and plantation of follicular units. Hence, damage is less.
- Survival is higher as out of body exposure of grafts is less.
Hence, FUE is a popular and preferred technique of hair transplantation.
FUE Technique is a suture less method of hair transplantation unlike FUT technique. In FUE technique, the hair follicular units are extracted with the help of special micro punches that leaves no linear scar. The healing process is also much quicker compared to FUT Technique which takes around 2 weeks for recovery. Hence, FUE Method is much more comfortable procedure compared to FUT technique.
The harvested grafts are then implanted in the bald area or areas of scanty growth/thin hair. Implantation of grafts is a technically challenging job that requires great skill and experience. The hair transplant surgeon has to be very cautious while handling the graft so that the tissue surrounding the graft is not damaged .The grafts need to be placed efficiently considering the angle and required density of the hair to create a natural look. Hence, the cornerstones of a good hair transplant are the technique used and the skill of the surgeon.