What is FUT?
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) is a hair restoration technique, also known as the strip procedure, where a patient’s hair is transplanted in naturally occurring groups of 1 to 4 hairs, called follicular units. Follicular units also contain sebaceous (oil) glands, nerves, a small muscle, and occasional fine vellus hairs. In follicular unit transplantation, these small units allow the surgeon to safely transplant thousands of grafts in a single session, which maximizes the cosmetic impact of the procedure.
FUT is considered an advance over older hair transplantation procedures that used larger grafts and often produced a pluggy, unnatural look. In a properly-performed follicular unit transplant, the results will mimic the way hair grows in nature and will be undetectable as a hair transplant.
- Using a scalpel, the surgeon removes a piece of your scalp, usually from the back of your head. The strip size is typically about 6 to 10 inches long but can stretch from ear to ear.
- They close the area where the scalp was removed with stitches.
- Your surgeon and their assistants separate the scalp strip into smaller pieces with a scalpel. They may split the piece up into as many as 2,000 smaller fragments, called grafts. Some of these grafts may contain only one hair each.
- Using a needle or blade, the surgeon makes small holes in your scalp where hair will be transplanted.
- The surgeon inserts hairs from the removed piece of scalp into the puncture holes. This step is called grafting.
- They then cover the surgical sites with bandages or gauze.
The specific number of grafts you receive depends on the:
- type of hair you have
- size of transplant site
- quality (including thickness) of hair
- hair color
- It resists giving a pluggy, unnatural look.
- Above all, its cost-friendly than other hair loss treatments.
- Larger baldness areas can be covered with few sessions.
- Low resection rate which yields better results.
- Permanent natural hair look.
- Perfect imitation of normal hair growth with permanent outcomes.
- Consumed time is beneficial
- The procedure involves the risk of scarring and a longer recovery period per treatment session as it is invasive.
- Leaves a linear scar at the site where the donor strip is excised.
- It can result in stretching of the scalp.
- The scars can become large-sized and localized which makes them slightly more visible.
First few days:
Within a few days of FUT surgery you can expect to experience scabbing in the recipient area of the scalp and some swelling may occur on the forehead. You may also experience some discomfort in the donor area but this can be treated with ordinary painkillers and will soon ease off.
As part of the healing process, the patient will experience some scabbing in the first few days.
Two to six days post-surgery you may notice some facial swelling, while the donor and recipient areas will start to crust. It is important not to touch your grafts until day 6.
In this period you can usually wash and soak your hair to moisturise your head, with a view to being scab-free by day 10.
After an average of 10 days your scalp should be free of scabs. This is the time we usually say that you can return to work.
The stitches from the donor area of your scalp are removed after 10-14 days and the donor area heals to form a linear scar (this is usually undetectable when covered by hair worn grade 4 or longer.)
14 days to 2 months:
In this period the new hair grafts are likely to shed’. This is nothing to worry about and is perfectly normal as your new grafted hair enters a resting phase.
In this ‘resting phase’ you will look much as you did before the FUT operation, so patience is required!
In this period your new hairs will start to grow. At first these may be very fine, but over time they will begin to thicken. You can treat these new hairs just like the rest of your hair – it is real, natural hair.