Hair transplant surgery is a popular form of treatment for hair loss which results in healthy, natural looking hair. It is possible to end up with a full head of hair but this will be influenced by your genetics, balding pattern and the progress of this hair loss.
The more advanced the hair loss the less chance there is of achieving a full head of hair as there will not be enough donor hair to use for grafting. It is important to remember that many people who undergo this procedure are happy with the results.
Hair transplant surgery has been around for longer than we think, in fact since the 1950’s and has come a long way since then.
There is more than one method of transplanting hair which includes:
Scalp flap and scalp reduction surgery tend to be viewed as outdated or having too many side effects. This means that the patient has to undergo corrective treatment which is not an ideal state of affairs.
Micro and mini-grafts are techniques in which strips of skin containing hair follicles are removed from the donor are of the scalp and then inserted into the recipient (bald area) area of the scalp. A micro-graft usually contains a couple of hairs and mini-graft 3 to 4 hairs.
Hair ‘plugs’ are circular grafts containing follicles which were inserted in a series of ‘corn rows’. This resulted in the patient having bunches of hair stuck on the top of their head in an unnatural looking manner. The hair looks bristly and in ‘clumps’ rather than an exact placement.
If you mention a hair transplant to someone then nine times out of ten they will think of this ‘corn row’ image. May people still assume that a hair transplant will give them unnatural looking hair that resembles a doll’s hair or sticks up in frizzy bunches.
Hair Transplant surgery has come along way since then!
The technology has advanced to what is now considered to be the ‘gold standard’ of hair transplant surgery – follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
These techniques involve removing these naturally occurring units from donor area and inserting these in the bald area of your scalp. What happens is that these follicles grow hair in the same way as they did in the donor area which results in natural looking hair. It is almost impossible to tell the difference between donor hair and hair which has grown in the recipient area using follicular transplantation.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are often seen as two separate procedures. But, FUE can form part of FUT in that follicular units are removed from the donor area before being inserted in the recipient area.
A follicular unit transplant can be a two stage process as follows:
So, FUT can be performed with or without FUE.
To be more specific: we are making a comparison between two methods of obtaining follicular units for implantation. We are looking at the ways these are done and weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of both.
This involves removing follicular units via a thin, horizontal strip. These units are then dissected from this strip under a microscope which means that they are separated from the strip. Once this has been done the units are then inserted into the recipient area.
The follicular units are removed in a process called ‘direct extraction’. This means that they are removed one by one from the donor area before being placed directly into the recipient area. FUE takes longer and is more expensive than FUT.
Several sessions of FUE are needed in order to achieve a result whereas a result can be obtained in a single FUT session.
Risk of damaged (transaction) or broken follicular units with FUE compared to FUT.
This balanced comparison is designed to help you decide upon which method is right for you.