While hair restoration surgery can be exciting, it is necessary to understand that your decision making doesn’t end once you have decided to go through with the procedure. Although surgery is a big step and can often relieve a lot of anxiety, you will have to decide, with the help of your doctor, which type of procedure is best — either Follicular Unit Extraction or Follicular Unit Transplantation, which is more commonly known as Linear Strip.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
FUE is considered a minimally invasive procedure. Using a device with a 1mm punch, a doctor extracts one hair follicle at a time, transplanting it into the balding region of the scalp. The hope behind this type of procedure is that the follicles will thrive in the new area of the scalp, allowing for healthy and continued hair growth.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT or the linear strip method is a more invasive procedure. This method involves the removal of a section of the scalp, which is then grafted by technicians to allow for the transplantation of the follicles. Again, as with FUE, the hope is that the new hair will continue to grow and develop.
While both procedures transplant hair follicles from other areas of the scalp, each surgery varies in its technique and execution. FUE is minimally invasive and does not require the use of a scalpel, staples or sutures. The operation is longer than the FUT procedure, but it will not result in linear scarring, bleeding, nerve damage, or postoperative tight scalp sensations. FUT, on the other hand, does require surgical tools, like a scalpel, and longer recovery time — typically 10 to 14 days. Also, while bleeding and nerve damage is possible with FUT, the chances of such an outcome are low.
FUE or FUT
The decision of which operation to pursue is entirely up to you. However, you would be wise to consult with a physician and discuss the ramifications of either procedure thoroughly. Many doctors suggest the FUE method for those who like to wear their hair short because the surgery will not leave scarring. For those who want long hairstyles, the FUT scars are likely not a deterrent, but the use of a scalpel and sutures might be.
FUE and FUT are both effective hair restoration surgeries. While both offer different methods to achieve similar results, a hair restoration doctor is better equipped to explain the subtleties between the two procedures and help you make a decision. Therefore, you should contact a local hair transplant doctor, like a hair transplant doctor in NYC, to discuss your options in depth.
Thank you to the office of Dr. Robin Unger for their insight into the differences between FUE and FUT hair restoration surgeries.