Comparing Follicular Unit Extraction with Follicular Unit Transplant

Today’s hair restoration physicians typically rely on different techniques for extracting and transplanting large quantities of follicular units or hair follicles. The primary differences between hair transplant solutions and other restoration methods are how permanent they are and the results that are yielded. The hair transplant procedure yields results that feel and look as natural as possible and over the years, most people prefer it to other methods of hair restoration.. In fact, the ideal outcome is that no one can tell whether or not you have actually had a hair transplant procedure done.

Comparing the Two Techniques

Today, the two most commonly applied hair transplantation procedures are Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). The way in which the follicle is extracted is the primary difference between these two technologies. The following is a comparison of the two techniques:

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) – rather than removing a strip of scalp tissue, single hair follicles are removed in random fashion from the scalp, thereby resulting in an almost unnoticeable, less dense donor area. During the typical session, fewer follicles are removed a single unit at a time. This makes FUE a better hair restoration option for smaller cases and involves a fewer number of grafts. This technique is constantly evolving and in some cases, it is being utilized for larger cases as well as smaller ones.

Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) – during the FUT process, the physician removes a short strip of scalp tissue. This area on the back of the patient’s head is commonly referred to as the donor area from which the physician and their clinical team carefully harvest hair follicles for transplantation. FUT is the preferred method for those cases where hair loss is more advanced and a larger area needs to be filled in. Furthermore, this method enables the physician to deliver the results the patient expects.

Post-Operative Pain Management

Patients occasionally report a higher degree of discomfort after an FUT procedure is completed. This is because swelling oftentimes occurs in the donor area where the strip of scalp tissue has been removed. However, in either the FUE or FUT method, the recovery period is easily managed and the physician will prescribe pain medications for the patient whenever needed. Fortunately, these are both out-patient procedures and relatively simple to perform with the advancements that have been made in the industry.

Evidence of Scarring

The FUE method typically leaves no signs of scarring as the follicles are extracted one at a time. Tiny 1 mm or less puncture marks are visible initially, but they will heal by themselves in a week or less. Conversely, the FUT method will leave a linear scar across the donor area on the back of the patient’s head. However, the scar is very narrow and only the shortest of hair styles will reveal it. Thus, if you select a hairstyle that can hide it, no one will ever know.