Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is also known as Strip Surgery or linear strip excision as it involves taking a thin strip of skin with intact hair follicles from the ‘safe’ or ‘permanent’ zone at the back and sides of the head.
The strip is then dissected by our surgical assistants under microscopes into individual follicular units (the use of microscopes in hair transplant surgery is associated with less damage to the follicles).
Once dissected they are referred to as ‘grafts’ and each graft might comprise of 1, 2 or 3 hairs. These grafts are then placed into tiny incisions in the recipient zone where there is hair loss in a way to give you the most natural results.
The area on the scalp where the strip was taken is closed with a fine stitch which is removed 12-14 days post op.
Most patients can have more than one FUT procedure, but scalp laxity can be an issue and graft numbers obtained will decrease accordingly. Surgical planning and good surgical technique is vital to avoid complications and for that reason it is useful for your doctor to have a surgical background.
FUT is preferable where the donor area will not allow sufficient graft numbers with the FUE technique, which your surgeon will be able to tell you, or if you are unwilling to shave the back of your head.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of FUT over FUE
The main advantage of FUT is that larger graft numbers can be achieved and you do not need to shave the back of your head. It also tends to produce a better quality of graft (although a competent FUE surgeon should be able to produce equally good grafts).
The disadvantage is that a linear scar is left where the strip is taken, which may limit your hair length to a grade 3 or 4 haircut. For that reason FUE is often a better choice for younger patients or for those who might want to cut their hair very short in the future. FUT is also considered to be a more invasive procedure and is associated with slight increased post-operative pain.
Is FUT suitable for me?
Call 0207 770 6538 to arrange a consultation to discuss if FUT is the right treatment for your hair loss condition.