Hair loss is a major problem caused by various factors like genetics, stress, medical conditions such as PCOS etc. But thanks to solutions like FUT hair transplant, hair loss can now be effectively managed. Are you wondering what is FUT? Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is a strip procedure of hair transplant. It involves removing a linear strip of hair from the donor region of the scalp and implanting it in the recipient region. The strip containing hair follicles is dissected under a stereo-microscope and divided into grafts of 1-3 follicles grafts. These grafts are then placed into incisions made on the recipient region.
A FUT hair transplant might cost as little as Rs. 25-35 ($0.36-0.70) per Graft. The most prevalent technique for calculating hair transplant costs in India is on a per-graft basis.
In one session, a maximum of 2000 grafts can be planted in the recipient region. But it was not always so. Previously, different methods were used for hair transplants. But it was not always so. Depending on your hair loss, scalp flexibility, the nature of your baldness, an alternative method for FUT can be FUE or PRP hair treatment.
Currently, there are two main types of hair transplantation procedures:
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplant
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) Hair Transplant
Continue reading to learn more about FUT surgery and how FUT varies from FUE.
History of FUT Hair Transplant
Hair transplant is a process that has been evolving continuously over the last 200 years from very primary technique to recent FUT hair transplant technique. But it was not till the 1930s that the modern era of hair transplant was evolved, which showed the use of hair grafts and hair-bearing skin flaps or hair transplantation.
- In 1952, dermatologist Dr. Norman Orentreich proved the relationship of ‘donor dominance' and ‘recipient dominance' by experimenting with free donor grafts to balding areas in patients with male pattern baldness in successful surgery. From the 1970s, plugs, which are essentially large grafts that were used in hair transplants with lots of technology limitations
- The punch graft method was popular during 1970-1993. The punch of 4mm was used to remove a cylindrical portion of skin with hair from the donor region, and the recipient area was punched out to accommodate the grafts. But it gave an unnatural look, abrupt hairline, large cuts due to punching.
- By 1984, mini and micrografts were used, which was an improvement to previous methods. Micrografting is the older form of strip surgery that used small grafts rather than one long strip. It is good for reconstructing frontal hairline.
- In 1994, Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Rassman introduced stereo-microscopic graft dissection by which follicular units could be obtained from donor strips in the donor region. This method takes more time and exceptional surgical skills but gives good results. By 2000, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) became the mainstream method for hair transplantation.
Eligibility Criteria for FUT
- Perfect Donor Region
- The Flexibility of the scalp
- You shouldn't be suspected of DUPA
- Your scalp must be free from Alopecia Areata
- You must not have Trichotillomania
FUT Hair Transplant Procedure
- Step 1: The surgeon will check if your donor region is perfect or not. Analyze the condition of follicles, density of hair, and sustainability of hair. He will estimate the number of grafts required for your hair transplantation.
- Step 2: First, they will shave the donor region of your scalp to harvest the strip.
- Step 3: Later surgeon will construct natural looking hairline as per your will.
- Step 4: Then, he will monitor anesthesia to your scalp.
- Step 5: After that surgeon will determine how many samples will be required to fulfill the necessary grafts.
- Step 6: The surgeon will carefully remove the strip from your donor region.
- Step 7: The region from which the strip is removed will be closed by stitching.
- Step 8: The strip will be dissected under a stereo microscope, and good-quality follicular hair graft units will be extracted from it.
- Step 9: The surgeon will start making incisions in your recipient region after considering the direction of your hair growth and insert follicular graft units in the incisions.
Hair develops in follicular units of 1 to 4 hairs. The doctor generally utilizes a follicular unit of 1 to 2 hairs for a natural-looking eyebrows hair transplant. A strip of skin containing the donor's hair will be removed from the back of the scalp by the doctor. The number of hair transplants necessary determines the length of the strip. When the donor region is a scalp, the FUT method is considered.
A female Hair Transplant using the FUT method is performed by removing a strip of skin from the back of the head. It has the maximum density of hair. The surgeon will keep an eye on your scalp's anesthetic and seek a pliable region and may be covered by the hair above it. Hair from that region is raised upward. Your surgeon will next shave the tiny region where the hair strip will be harvested. He'll patch the wound created by it afterward. Under a stereo microscope, the surgeon will dissect the hair strip and make incisions to plant the follicular unit grafts in the recipient region.
Hair transplantation: FUT vs. FUE
Individual hair follicles are transplanted in both FUT and FUE procedures. A surgeon removes a strip of skin from the back or side of your head and then harvests the hair follicles during FUT surgery. Rather than removing a strip of scalp skin, your surgeon will remove individual hair follicles straight from your scalp during FUE surgery.
FUT has certain advantages, such as being a better alternative if you require a high number of hair follicles transplanted, a quicker procedure duration, and less expensive surgery.
FUE has some advantages, including a faster recovery period, reduced pain after surgery, and the absence of a noticeable scar.
Even if you have a low hair density, hair from different body regions can be utilized.
The most sophisticated approach of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is robotic hair transplantation. Traditional treatments are usually time-consuming, unpleasant, inconclusive, and yield short-term results.
Post-care for FUT Hair Transplant
|Things to care for
|Swelling of the forehead and between eyes
|Massage the area and use ice packs 3-4 times per day. Avoid bending down.
|Avoid contact with grafts until the 6th day after surgery.
|Remove dressing before going to sleep. Visit a doctor to remove stitches after 10-14 days.
|Don’t wash your hair for 24 hours after your surgery.
|Don’t exercise for one week when grafts are becoming secure.
|Avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, garlic, multivitamins for the first 2 days to prevent bleeding.
|Don’t expose your scalp to the sun for the first 3 months.
|Follow the medication prescribed by your surgeon.
|For the first 3 days, use a neck pillow while sleeping and keep your head at 45 degrees angle from the mattress.
What is the Recovery Time for FUT Hair Transplant?
After the Follicular hair transplant surgery, remove your dressing before going to sleep. Go to the hair transplant surgeon for follow-ups.
- Visit surgeon after 10-12 days to remove stitches.
- The transplanted hair will fall out 2-3 weeks after surgery. This will make way for the growth of new hair. After 8-12 months, you will notice a substantial amount of hair growth.
- There may be temporary numbness around the donor region which will recede in a few months. The average FUT hair transplant time to see the proper results is around 1 year.
- After your FUT surgery, it would be better to take a week off before you resume your work.
What are the side effects of FUT?
There are no major side effects of FUT hair transplant, which can harm you. However, you may experience some minor side effects due to common surgical procedures.
The common side effects which you may experience are:
- Minor infection
What are the advantages of FUT?
- The look after new hair growth is natural.
- The trauma to the scalp is minimum.
- It can create a close fit for FUT grafts.
- Removing tissues in the recipient region is not required.
- It retains the elasticity of the scalp.
- Many follicles can be transplanted in a single session.
- It is more affordable than other techniques such as FUE and DHI hair transplants.
What are the risks involved in FUT?
- Limited donor site to the scalp.
- Experiencing numbness around the donor area.
- Leaves linear scar in donor region from where the strip is removed.
- Recovery is slow.
- The transplanted hair will be shed after 2-3 weeks which is transitory.
FUT Hair Transplant scars
- In FUT hair transplant, as the strip is removed from the donor region, it leaves a linear scar on the back of the head.
- The surgeon removes the stitches from the donor area of your scalp from where the strip is removed after 10-14 days of the FUT surgery. Your donor area will start healing and form a linear scar.
How many grafts can be transplanted in a single session of FUT?
- The clinics which specialize in Giga sessions transplant 2500-3500 grafts depending on the quality of the donor's hair.
- But mostly, clinics transplant 2000 grafts in one session, which gives optimum results. As the FUT technique requires precision, the quality of the result may drop after the transplantation of 2000 grafts.
How Much Time Is Required for One Session of FUT Hair Transplant?
It will take around 4-8 hours for a single session of FUT hair transplant. Time may vary depending on:
- The number of grafts that must be transplanted in one session.
- The number of surgeons operating the FUT process.
Survival Rate of FUT Grafts
- In FUT hair transplant, generally, a density of 20-25 follicular units per cm2 is used per session for ideal results. If one exceeds these densities, the survival rate of follicular units drops to a low level.
- Then as per the study, 40% of them will survive and grow.
- 50 Follicular units per cm2 will give good result than 20 follicular units per cm2 but at the expense of a 15% higher rate of limited donor hair.
What are the Results of FUT Hair Transplant?
- After FUT hair transplant, your hair will be shed after 1 month. The new hair will start to grow 3-4 months after hair transplant surgery. In the beginning, the new hair will be fragile and fine, but as it will grow longer, it will become thick and strong.
- After 6 months, you will experience substantial hair growth. Eventually, you will see the result of FUT hair transplant. Your hair will attain the same quality as your donor hair from which follicular units were harvested.
Who Can Get Benefit from FUT Technique?
- A patient needs a larger hair transplant which means the patient has large baldness and needs transplantation of many follicular graft units.
- When many follicular graft units must be transplanted, FUT is assumed to be the best technique.
- As in FUT, many follicular graft units can be transplanted in one session than any other hair transplant method. The cost of FUT is also less compared to FUE.
Financing will not be an issue. If you've chosen to have a hair transplant but haven't yet figured out how to pay for it, the wait is over, and you can now take advantage of this simple financing option by applying for a hair transplantation loan.
Why FUT Is the Best Technique?
- Follicular hair transplant (FUT) is a strip procedure of hair transplant in which follicular unit grafts are harvested. It is done by dissecting the strip under the stereomicroscope, which has high magnification. The harvested grafts are of good quality and not damaged.
- The surgeon can estimate the number of grafts obtained from dissecting the strip. The resultant hair looks natural.
- If a person suffers from hair loss again after some years and decides to do an additional hair transplant, it will be possible if the prior treatment he had undergone was FUT.
- As in Follicular hair transplant (FUT), the surgeon will remove the previous scar, and after treatment, he will have only one scar in the donor region. Whereas in FUE, new scars will be created along with old scars.
- The growth rate of hair for FUT is 95% greater than FUE, whose growth rate is 85%.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Is it true that having a smaller donor area increases the cost of my hair transplant?
Finding the right donor region might be difficult if the scalp lacks enough hair transplants. Hair follicles from other body hair transplant regions, such as the beard, chest, or pubic areas, may be removed if there aren't enough donor sites. Your hair transplant therapy cost may be slightly more if you use the body hair transplantation technique.
2. Is there an EMI option for FUT hair transplants?
EMI finance for FUT hair transplant operations is available. It might be a cost-effective method to pay for your hair transplant without breaking the bank.
3. After a FUT hair transplant, when may I wash my hair?
Washing the hair after a hair transplant necessitates a great deal of caution. It is necessary to ensure that the transplanted hair is not damaged or displaced. Patients must refrain from washing their hair for the first 2-3 days. After this time, patients should wash their hair gently and immediately pat dry their hair with a soft towel.
4. Will I be able to develop new hair straight away?
The recipient location will resemble hair stubble once the fresh hair transplants are implanted. For a month, the transplanted hairs will grow slowly before entering the resting or telogen phase, during which the hair will fall out. The transplanted hair shafts will regenerate new hair in the next two months when they begin their growth.
5. Is it possible to repair my FUT donor scar in the future?
Although the scar from a FUT operation cannot be completely removed, various techniques reduce its appearance. Simple scar revision, FUT transplantation into the scar, or additional cosmetic treatments such as scar camouflage using Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) might all be used to heal the FUT scar.