- Strip Harvesting, or Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT): The surgeon and team remove a strip of skin from the back and sides of the scalp under local anaesthesia and then suture the wound. They then dissect the strip of scalp into small units, grafts, which they then transplant into the thinning areas of the patient’s head. This method leaves the patient with a long linear scar in the donor area, limiting hairstyle choices unless the patient does not care the scar is noticeable. Recovering from a strip procedure is generally about 2 weeks and requires the patient return to the clinic, or other medical facilities, to remove the stitches. Most patients must also tend to the donor site for around three months.
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE Procedure): The surgeon and team remove individual follicular units (naturally occurring groupings of 1-4 hairs) using tiny punches between 0.6mm and 1.25mm in diameter, while the patient is under local anaesthesia. They then place these grafts into the scalp’s thinning areas using a micro-blade or needle. The individual removal of follicular units causes less trauma than FUT, significantly decreasing the chances of visible scars or post-surgery pain if a skilled surgeon conducts the procedure. There is no need to return to the clinic to remove stitches. FUE patients generally recover from surgery within 7 days but must monitor and encourage recovery for at least a month.
THE RESULTS FIRST DEPEND ON THE SURGEON’S AND CLINIC’S CAPABILITY AND SKILL
Near all clinical evidence, and patient feedback, indicate FUE hair transplant is the best current option for patients. However, the surgeon’s, team’s and clinic’s skill and capability are essential for a quality result. Proficiency in hair transplantation, particularly FUE, requires years of training and experience. Conducting an FUE hair transplantation procedure is labor intensive and requires excellent hand-eye coordination, as the surgeon and team extract and transplant every individual graft. Hair transplantation is a potential source of revenue for clinics, however, leading many untrained surgeons to offer hair transplantation and then either conducting the procedure themselves or, worst yet, relegating it to surgical assistants. Results from these chop shops usually disappoint, if not outright humiliate and upset, patients.
Like most fields, hair transplantation has a number of professional organizations that serve as resources for specialists, beginning surgeons and patients. These organizations’ purposes, and reputability range a great deal. Patients are often misinformed by industry references who receive kickbacks and clinics that do anything from photoshop results photos to promise major bargains.
Selecting an Ideal Clinic Demands Research and Personal Considerations
Patients, therefore, must think critically about the clinic they select. They must make sure to critically assess the surgeon’s training, influences, techniques, additional treatments and industry presence. Near all surgeons of repute have trained with a specialist, or multiple specialists, who have a track record of excellence. All legitimate clinic websites highlight the surgeons’ medical backgrounds, specialities and industry renown as well capabilities, treatments and patients’ results.
THE ART OF FUE HAIR TRANSPLANTATION
Medical art combines medicine, mastery of current surgical skills and techniques, a keen eye and the accurate reproduction of what occurs naturally. Many hair restoration patients assume that a surgeon’s artistic ability is a given, resulting from education and practice of established surgical techniques. Art and surgery, however, are separate skills which must be taken into consideration when evaluating a doctor for your hair restoration; not doing so can be disastrous. Many patients fall victim to doctors with little or no artistic sensibilities.