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FUT Vs FUE hair transplant: Which one should you choose?

A hair transplant surgery takes about 6 hours and above for single session.

Any person with chronic hair loss and healthy donor area is a good candidate for hair transplant. There are two basic techniques through which the procedure is performed: FUT and FUE. Read to know the difference.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : March 4, 2021 1:41 PM IST

In today's upcoming world where progress is redefined at every turn, aesthetics and body image do not lag behind. To feel good within is every person's basic need and right. In the world of aesthetic and cosmetic healthcare, there are many aides to help a person feel more confident and comfortable with one's own image. Hair transplant is one such commonly carried out cosmetic procedure which has a very high satisfaction quotient. It means grafting of one's own hair from a donor area to a deficient site. Unfortunately, many people are still unaware of this very viable, effective and safe procedure when done by expert hands. In this article, Dr. Shilpi Bhadani, Plastic, and Aesthetic surgeon, Founder SB Aesthetics, Gurugram, tells you all you need to know about hair transplant surgery, including the different methods available and possible complications.

Any person with chronic hair loss and healthy donor area is a good candidate for hair transplant. Major indications include male pattern baldness, thinning of hair and hair loss due to trauma. A key point when undergoing such procedure is to have realistic expectations and not fall prey to propaganda tactics, cautions Dr. Bhadani.

There are two basic techniques through which the procedure is performed. FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation). Both procedures can be done under local anaesthesia in a sterile setting, preferably an operating room. Once the area is marked and planned, the surgical process takes about 6 hours and above for single session. Breaks are given to the patient in between to ease the stress of procedure. Usually, no hospital stay is needed, and patients can leave once the procedure is completed with medication and hair care instructions. They can resume their routine day to day activities after a day of procedure although they may notice some swelling of scalp and eyes which subsides in 72 hours' time with help of medications and local care. Complications may include bleeding, infections, persistent pain, hypertrophic scars, itching, numbness and occasional cysts.

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FUT Vs FUE hair transplant: Understand the difference

FUT is the older method of the two. It requires a strip of hair to be harvested, mostly from the back of scalp under local anaesthesia. The donor area is closed by 'trichophytic closure' technique so as to minimize the visibility of the scar and reduce the possibility of donor site allopecia. The harvested strip is then processed under microscope into tiny units containing hair follicles. The marked donor site is then prepared for grafts by making slits and hair is grafted in. Recovery time for donor area is approximately 2 weeks in an uncomplicated case.

FUE is a relatively less invasive method, also known as scarless technique, where hair grafts are extracted from the donor area using a pen like micromotor drill punch to create circular incision or cuts around hair follicles for extraction. After the harvest, the donor area is left to heal by itself where the holes left collapse by self and get covered by growing hair. The extracted grafts are transplanted by the surgeon in the recipient area as per the markings. Estimated recovery time for the donor area is 1 week. Although FUE is scarless and less invasive, in trained hands, FUT can give a better result and FUE donor site may be visible as dotted area if the requirement is more.

Post-transplant, the grafted hair usually falls off in about 2-4 week time and new hair growth is visible earliest by 3rd month and continue till 8-9 months. Depending on the results, a person may need further sessions to improve the density after 6 months of initial procedure. It may be possible to combine both techniques to achieve a desired result. In certain special cases where standard donor areas are lacking, other body sites may be considered but the result and quality is unpredictable and an honest communication between the treating surgeon and patient is essential to set the expectations right.

Along with hair transplant it is often beneficial to support the treatment with growth factors and supplement which are offered by means of medications, serums and OPD based procedures like PRP injections. These adjuvants help improve the overall final result, added Dr. Bhadani.

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