FUE VS FUT HAIR TRANSPLANT
It is important to take the correct decision regarding the type of hair transplant procedure you want to get done. There are two types of surgical hair restoration procedures - FUT and FUE.
FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation which is also known as the Linear Strip Method, in which a long and thin sliver of tissue is extracted from the donor area like the back and sides of the head; every single follicular unit is extracted using stereo-microscopic dissection from the strip. This procedure leaves a single line of scar when wounds are closed. The second method is FUE that stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. In this method, the hair follicles are extracted by small spherical incisions from a large donor area on the scalp that leaves small, spherical white marks.
FUE procedures are extremely popular because of the advancements in technology and new portable devices. Undoubtedly, FUT also provides outstanding results and many doctors consider this as ‘gold standard’.
The main differences between both the techniques considering the price, procedure, recovery, and results will be discussed below:
Linear Strip Method/FUT
In the linear strip method, hair follicles are extracted from the donor area and then inserted in the affected area. An average of 1mm to 5mm diameter wide scar is noticed after the procedure. Sadly, it is impossible to predict how wide will be the scar after the surgery. This method is not recommended to those who prefer short hair as their hairstyles like sportspersons or athletes, because the scar after the surgery will be quite visible in short hair length.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
The process of Follicular Unit Extraction is quite different from Follicular Unit Transplantation. In this technique, a minimal depth scoring punch and device is used to extract the hair follicles from the donor area. Usually, 1.0 mm punch size is used for the extraction of hair follicles, but if hair texture is curly, then the doctor makes use of a 1.25 mm punch to extract the hair grafts straight from the donor area/scalp and these hair grafts are then placed in the bald areas manually, one at a time.
Undoubtedly, FUE is a better option if you want unnoticeable marks or scars. Scars after the FUE method are so tiny and round that they are barely visible. Whereas FUT surgery leaves a long and wide scar that is noticeable. In follow up procedures from FUT, a single linear scar is visible because the hair is extracted from that particular area. If you undergo multiple procedures, a wide and more noticeable scar will be formed and this procedure can also result in thinning of hair at the donor area with time.
The availability of grafts generally depends from one patient to the other. Generally, people go for the FUE method as hair extraction with this technique leaves minimal scarring which easily gets covered by the remaining hair strands on the head. On the other hand, FUT not only leaves visible scars but it also changes the direction of new hair growth as the hair is extracted from a wide area of the skin which can result in a difference in the quality of hair on both sides of the head.
Typically, the Follicular Unit Extraction technique is more expensive as compared to the Follicular Unit Transplantation procedure because FUE is a time-extensive procedure. The cost of hair transplant surgery is calculated depending upon the baldness level as well as the requirement of hair grafts. The price also differs according to the location and reputation of the clinic along with the experience of the surgeon. It is advisable to visit the clinic/surgeon for the consultation and better assessment of your hair loss condition and the cost estimation.
In the case of FUE, the recovery rate is fast and painless at the same time. It happens rarely that a patient needs to visit a doctor post-surgery for his everyday concerns. But it is important to follow the instructions and details given by the doctor for better results that include extensive care for the donor area. For the initial few days, the patients are advised not to bend and to stay vertical, limited, or no physical workout and activities are allowed in the first 7 - 10 days after the surgery.
On the other hand, the recovery is a bit painful after the FUT procedure. On the incision sites, scabs and soreness can be noticed, and the patient might require to visit the doctor for help for the first 3 - 7 days after the surgical process. The patients are strictly instructed to perform no heavy physical activity for a month post-surgery to avoid any complications and to get the desired outcomes.