Follicular Unit Extraction is Preferred for Ann Arbor
When trying to choose the best method for a hair transplant, patients tend to consider the two main options available today: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). The best hair transplant surgeons will help each patient choose the surgery ideal for their specific situation. Both hair transplant types have their own unique advantages, and a few potential drawbacks.
Follicular Unit Extraction
FUE has a number of advantages, including:
- Little to no scarring in either the donor or implantation area: Any scars are tiny, around the size of pinpricks
- Faster healing time since there are no incisions
- No extended exercise restrictions after the hair transplant
- Little to no pain during and after the procedure
- Ideal for patients that want to wear their hair very short
This type of hair transplant surgery is ideal for people who have either a very tight or a very loose scalp, since FUT can’t be done as successfully on such patients. People who don’t have appropriate donor hair on their scalp may be good candidates for FUE, since the follicles could potentially be harvested from other areas of the body.
A potential drawback is that FUE harvests grafts from a fairly wide area of the lower scalp, where FUT focuses on harvesting only the middle scalp area. The mid-scalp has the strongest and longest lasting hair, so hair transplant grafts taken from this area tend to be more successful upon transplantation. This means that FUT grafts may last longer, especially when the FUE uses a wide harvesting area to get sufficient follicles. It is critical that your plastic surgeon only harvest follicles from the safe donor area to achieve a long-lasting result.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
Many people who choose NeoGraft® do so because they are looking for a genuine and natural-looking result, one that does not leave scars. With the old hair transplantation techniques, linear scars on the scalp could be clearly seen for months after the procedure. In contrast, the NeoGraft® system uses no conventional incisions at all, leaving no linear scars behind. Patients prefer it because:
- It is the least invasive procedure for hair transplantation
- Patients who receive it feel little to no discomfort
- No stitches or staples are used
- The hair transplant procedure leaves no unsightly linear scar
- There is flexibility for any hair style of your choice, short or long
- Recovery time is shorter than with other methods, and patients can typically go back to work the next day
- There are fewer restrictions on your normal daily activities
- It produces natural-looking results
Many patients are also concerned due to the pain normally associated with hair transplants, but find that NeoGraft® is ideal because the pain levels are quite low. Due to the lack of incisions, healing is faster, and discomfort is dramatically reduced. Pain during the procedure is so effectively eliminated through local anesthetic that patients often watch movies while the work is being done.
Follicular Unit Extraction
FUT has some significant advantages of its own, including:
- One single linear scar on the back of the scalp, which is typically covered by new hair growth very quickly
- Cheaper cost than FUE
- May be more efficient for patients requiring more than 3,000 grafts in a single hair transplant session
- FUT is ideal for people who need large areas of scalp covered, as it harvests an entire strip of the scalp at one time
For many people, the main drawback of FUT is that the single long scar is larger than the tiny pinprick-sized scars associated with FUE. However, this disadvantage is offset by the scar’s location: toward the middle of the scalp, where even short hair growth can cover it in a matter of weeks or months. FUT often does cause more pain, often necessitating pain medication or ibuprofen up to 10 days after the hair transplant, particularly if a staple closure is used. FUE has exploded in popularity and is projected to overtake FUT as the most common procedure in 2016.
Ultimately, each patient must make his or her own decision about which transplant method is best. Your doctor can help you to determine which hair transplant option will give you the full hair you’ve been missing.