Hair Transplantation FUT
Up to 85% of men have at least some degree of hair loss, commonly due to androgenetic alopecia or male pattern hair loss. Hair loss is also present in up to 40% of women. Surgical treatments like Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are two types of hair transplant procedures that can help to reverse some of the changes caused by hair loss.
Please continue reading to learn more about FUT hair restoration. Find out how this minimally invasive hair transplant is performed and how it differs from FUE. This may help you decide on which hair transplant method is best for you.
Why have a hair transplant procedure?
Surgical hair transplant procedures like FUT and FUE can reduce the size of an area of hair thinning by using your natural hair. You can get natural-looking results from both FUT and FUE techniques with minimal scarring that is barely noticeable. The procedures involve taking your existing hair from an area that has healthy growth of hair and transplanting it into a recipient area that needs hair, such as a balding spot or an area of thinning hair. Both processes show visible hair growth in 3-6 months. However, they differ in the type of scar they leave, how the procedure is performed, and how long the procedure takes. The choice between FUT and FUE hair transplants depends on various factors, including the size of the thinning area, the pattern of hair loss, and the quality and amount of hair available in the donor area.
What does FUT mean in hair transplant?
FUT means follicular unit transplantation. During a FUT procedure, the surgeon cuts a strip of hair-bearing skin from your scalp. This is usually obtained from the back of the scalp where there is good hair growth and enough surrounding hair. The size of this strip will depend on how many individual follicular grafts are required to cover your bald spots. On average, the strip is 1.5 cm (less than 1 inch) in width. The surgeon then removes the individual hair follicles from the extracted scalp strip and re-inserts them into the recipient area on the scalp. The FUT procedure is done using local anesthesia (numbing medicine) and is an outpatient procedure.
What is difference between FUE and FUT hair transplant procedure?
FUE-Follicular Unit Extraction
Unlike a FUT procedure that involves removal of a strip of hair, the FUE transplant involves removing individual follicles from the donor area, usually on the side and back of the head. This is the primary difference between the two methods. The surgeon uses a micro-punch tool (handheld device) to remove each individual hair follicle and transplant it in the areas where you want more hair. You can have manual FUE or robotic FUE.
FUE hair transplants require very small incisions. They leave minimal scarring consisting of a tiny round scar about 1 mm in diameter. However, depending on the number of hair follicles transplanted, you can have hundreds or thousands of tiny scars that look like white dots while healing.
The FUE procedure is a painstaking process in which each individual follicular unit is extracted directly. It can take several hours or even days to complete. It can be done in multiple sessions over a period of 2-3 moths. However, no stitches are needed after the FUE procedure. The recovery time is usually short, under a week. FUE is done on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia.
FUT-Follicular Unit Transplantation
As noted above, FUT involves removing a strip of scalp from the donor area. The hair is extracted from this strip and transplanted into the area of balding or thinning. The incision is closed with sutures (stitches). This leaves behind a linear scar of variable length, depending on the size of the strip. In some cases, the scar can extend from ear to ear. You have to return to the surgeon's office 7-10 days later to have your stitches removed. Like FUE, FUT is also done on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia.
Which is better - FUE or FUT?
Both FUE and FUT can provide natural-looking results with a realistic hairline. Both have their pros and cons, which are described below. Choosing the best hair transplant method depends on your specific needs. Here are some factors you and your surgeon will consider.
Advantages of FUE
- Tiny incisions and minimal scarring
- Appropriate for people who keep short hair
- Short recovery period of 5-7 days
Disadvantages of FUE
- Time consuming with a longer procedure time (10+ hours)
- More expensive than FUT
Advantages of FUT
- Suitable option for people who need a large amount of grafting
- The linear scar can be easily concealed in the remaining hair
- Faster procedure time (4-12 hours)
- Less expensive than FUE
Disadvantages of FUT
- Leaves a linear scar in the donor area that may be visible
- Longer recovery time of 10-14 days
- Not suitable for people who wear their hair short
Is FUT more effective than FUE?
FUT is the traditional surgical treatment for male pattern baldness. It tends to have a higher success rate between the two procedures. However, follicular unit excision or FUE transplants can be equally successful with graft survival rates of 90% with manual FUE and up to 100% with robotic FUE technology. The success rate depends on several factors, including the quality of the donor hair, the number of follicular unit grafts available, how well the follicular grafts take in the recipient areas, and the skill and experience of the surgeon performing the transplant process. FUE vs FUT will ultimately boil down to your preference and hair transplant cost.
What to expect during FUT?
Your surgeon will mark the donor area and apply local anesthetic. The procedure is associated with minimal pain but you can get a sedative to reduce anxiety. You will remain awake throughout. Next, your surgeon will trim the donor site hair to about 2 mm. They will then extract a strip of skin containing the individual follicular units. This is to remove hair from the donor areas. A surgical tech will extract individual hair follicles from the scalp strip. They will then prepare the follicular grafts for transplantation. The surgeon will stitch up the scalp donor site. They will then insert the prepared individual follicular units into areas of balding or thinning hair. This is done in a natural pattern for maximum fullness. At the completion of the FUT procedure, your surgeon will apply antibiotics and a sterile bandage.
How long does the FUT hair transplant surgery take?
FUT surgeries usually take 4-8 hours. Between FUE and FUT hair restoration, FUT is quicker.
How soon will I see results from FUT procedure?
Most people see results in 6-9 months. Some people might take 12 months to get maximum fullness.
What are the possible complications of FUT?
A FUT procedure is safe when performed by a qualified and experienced hair transplant surgeon. Serious complications are rare. The head has a generous blood supply and the incisions heal quickly. Potential complications of FUT hair transplant include unnatural results, scarring, numbness, pain, swelling, bleeding, and inflammation (folliculitis).
You should be aware that you will have a scar after FUT surgery. This scar is permanent but fades over time. The size of your scar will depend on the number of hair follicles extracted. It can generally be easily concealed in the remaining hair. However, it can be visible in people who wear short hair.
Very rarely, a condition called effluvium can occur after surgical hair restoration. This is a type of shock loss of hair where the transplanted hair does not take, i.e., it falls out soon after surgery. However, the hair usually grows back in about 4 months.
How much do hair transplant procedures cost?
On average, FUT hair transplantation costs anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 or more. The average cost of FUE is slightly higher. The cost of a FUT or FUE procedure will depend on the number of grafts needed, the experience level of the surgeon, and the geographical location of the clinic.
Which type of hair transplant is right for me?
The MeTime app makes it easy to connect with leading surgeons for hair transplants. You can chat with experts, share photos, do a video consultation, and get answers to all your questions about FUE vs FUT hair restoration. Download the MeTime app today and find out if hair transplants are right for you.