There are two surgical techniques in which hair can be removed from a patient’s scalp – Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The way that grafts are transplanted back into a patient’s scalp following their removal is the same with both techniques. It is how the hairs are removed that is different. In the case of the FUE technique each hair graft is removed from the donor region one by one using a punch tool. Both the FUT and FUE technique form scars – FUT forms one linear scar whereas FUE forms multiple circular scars spread across a large area.
What happens in a FUE hair transplant?
When undergoing a FUE procedure, the entire scalp must usually be shaved in advance. As the FUE technique only allows a surgeon to take every second hair graft from the donor zone, the yield of grafts from the area is lower. Many clinics are forced to go outside of this zone which means these transplanted hairs will become thin and may be lost as a patient becomes older. It can also result in circular scars in the donor region becoming visible over time. The survival rate of grafts in an FUE technique is lower than it is with FUT as the accuracy of the punch tool is lower than that of a technician using a microscope.
Benefits of FUE method of Hair Transplant Surgery
There are, however, some instances where the FUE technique may be suitable. Patients who like to wear their hair very short may choose this method as the resultant scars can be less noticeable and more spread out. The FUE method is also useful when only a small area of hair needs to be transplanted, such as in the repair of scars or eyebrow transplants.