FUT vs FUE, What’s the Difference
The difference between FUT and FUE is in the extraction process. The process of implanting the follicles after they have been extracted onto the scalp is generally very similar for both methods, if not identical. The FUT STRIP method is also referred to as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and is considered the more traditional method for extracting donor hair.
During the FUT STRIP method the hair grafts are harvested in groups called follicular units, whereby the doctor removes a strip of hair and tissue from the back of the scalp. This strip is then dissected into individual follicular units by hair transplant technicians, under magnification. They are then placed in sites made by the doctor on areas of the scalp that have thinning or balding.
Follicular Unit Dissection during FUT Strip Hair Transplantation
The extraction site is closed with the use of sutures and/or staples. There have been some amazing advancement in this method in recent years, with the use of the trigrowthic or trycophytic closure method. This method tries to reduce the visibility of a linear scar. When compared with the FUE surgery, the donor area after a FUT strip procedure will require more time to fully heal. The scar may be detectable if the recipient chooses to wear their hair very short, and may even stretch over time. Generally the FUT strip method is more economical, it can be more attractive to those who have a limited budget.
The FUT Strip method is still used when the desired result is to transplant more than 3000 grafts. Nowadays, a typical FUE session can harvest 2500-3000 grafts The FUT Strip method can achieve results that can reach 4000 or more grafts. Generally, if you have a larger area that needs to be covered, an FUE procedure is not the most cost effective solution as it may require many sessions and take longer to achieve the desired results.
The FUE method is a solution that does not require a linear incision or stitches, resulting in far less recovery time. Each follicular unit is extracted individually by way of the ARTAS Robot; making this a more labor intensive process, thus the higher cost associated with this method. A significant benefit to having the FUE method is that controlled and careful extraction of donor hair is far more precise. It is very rare that there are any complications, and there are no detectable scars. Dr. Shelly Friedman, DO, performs an FUE procedure and can carefully select the follicular units that will offer the most yield of hairs per graft, and ultimately produce the best result. The FUE method is best characterized for its non invasive nature. The skill and experience of the Dr. Friedman plays a big part in both procedures.
An FUE procedure is an excellent option for a small hair transplant, such as to restore the hairline in early stages of baldness. It is also a great procedure for facial hair transplants such as beard, mustache and eyebrows. If the scalp is too tight or has existing damage, e.g. has undergone several STRIP procedures in the past, the FUE method becomes the best if not only option for additional grafts to be transplanted.
The FUE method provides a number of benefits over the FUT Strip method as it does not create any visible linear scarring and requires less healing and post surgery recovery time. The FUE method is considered by many within the industry as the latest and most advanced approach to hair transplantation. Only a hair transplant specialist can advise which method is best for you, taking into consideration your specific needs and desired outcome.