What is Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)?
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is a hair restoration technique where the patient’s hair is transplanted in naturally occurring groups of 1-4 hairs called follicular units. These units also feature oil glands, known as sebaceous glands. It is also known as the Strip procedure. The FUT process involves the removal of a small strip of tissue from the back of the head from which the donor hair follicles will be extracted after the patient is anesthetized. The hair follicles are now harvested from the strip by skilled surgeons before being individually transplanted to the recipient areas. After the strip is excised, then with a microscope, it’s divided into separate grafts.
As these follicular unit grafts are being prepared, the doctor makes tiny holes (called as slits) in the scalp, known as recipient sites, where the grafts are placed. In follicular unit transplantation, these small units allow the surgeon to safely transplant thousands of grafts in a single session, which maximizes the cosmetic impact of the procedure. The arrangement and positioning of this follicular unit grafts determine the sustainability, aesthetic qualities and FUT hair transplant results. It’s decided to keep the patient’s uniqueness in mind, the history of hair loss and the possibility of hair loss in the future. In a properly-performed follicular unit transplant, the results will mimic the way hair grows in nature and will be undetectable as a hair transplant surgery.
Benefits of Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
- It resists giving a pluggy, unnatural look.
- Above all, its cost-friendly than other hair loss treatments.
- Larger baldness areas can be covered with few sessions.
- Low resection rate which yields better results.
- Permanent natural hair look.
- Perfect imitation of normal hair growth with permanent outcomes.
- Time beneficial.
Disadvantages of Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
- The procedure involves the risk of scarring and a longer recovery period per treatment session as it is invasive.
- Leaves a linear scar at the site where the donor strip is excised.
- It can result in stretching of the scalp.
- The scars can become large-sized and localized which makes them slightly more visible.
The price of a hair transplant will depend largely on “How much hair you want to be transplanted?” Wanting only few patches to be added rather than wanting to increase hair on the entire scalp will cost lesser and vice versa. Most insurance plans don’t cover it. As with any kind of surgery, transplants have some risks, including bleeding and infection but these are negligible when done at a good hospital owned by a Board Certified Plastic, Cosmetic and Hair Transplant Surgeon. There are other factors as well that affect the total cost of hair transplant and a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic, Cosmetic and Hair Transplant Surgeon is the best to know the cost.
Your head should be healed and scab-free by day 10 after FUT hair transplant surgery. On average, the new hairs will begin to grow through in the treated areas of the scalp after three months, continuing to thicken over the first 10 to 15 months. Note that FUT surgery does leave a linear scar, which can require hair to be worn grade 4 or longer in order to conceal it.
- On the night of surgery and 2-3 nights thereafter, try to sleep with your head in an elevated position. Take one extra pillow or make use of a recliner chair for this.
- You can shampoo your hair, but during the first week of your surgery being completed, do it gently as there can be some soreness still and it’ll take time to heal
- Alcohol shouldn’t be consumed for at least 7 days.
- Avoid smoking as it reduces the blood flow to the hair follicles and interferes with good results.
- Protect your scalp from coming in touch with harsh sunlight for a long duration for the 1st two weeks.
- Strenuous physical activities better be postponed and also activities that cause severe sweating because it may lead to infection.
- Avoid excessive bending of the neck in forward direction.