Having emerged in the ‘50s, Hair Transplants gradually became more popular and as research and awareness grew, new techniques gradually came to light.
At first, large grafts or plugs with many hairs, were removed with a punch machine, but in the ‘80s, Follicular Unit Transplants (FUT) was introduced as the revolutionary hair restoration treatment due to the precision and density of the results. Over the years, the method evolved into what is now the current Gold Standard method known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplants, offered only by a select number of highly experienced doctors.
Here, we explore both techniques in terms of procedure and results.
The difference in method between FUT and FUE
The more traditional FUT technique requires for a strip of scalp to be surgically removed from the centre of the donor area, so that all hairs can be carefully dissected from the tissue under a microscope, before being transplanted into the bald patches.
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Although a lengthier procedure, FUE’s focus on detail is immense as it involves extracting individual hair follicles directly from the scalp using a precise punch device – ranging from 0.6mm to 0.9mm in diameter.
The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic, with surgeons at The Private Clinic only working by hair, so as to ensure that only high-quality hairs are harvested, thus avoiding additional, unnecessary thinning of the donor area.
Results, Recovery and Scarring
The first and most noticeable difference between FUT and FUE procedures is that the Strip method (FUT) will leave you with a linear scar at the back of your head. It will be visible if you wear your hair short and puts you at risk of stretched, thickened or keloid scars. Results from the FUT method can be life-changing, when the procedure is carried out by an experienced surgeon who has an eye for density.
With FUE there are no visible, linear scars. The slenderness of the punch device means that limited trauma is caused to the area, while the small diameter of the puncture holes ensures that they will heal swiftly, making them barely visible to the eye.
Naturally, you can expect there to be discomfort, soreness and/or numbness around the FUT incision line, which will be closed with either degradable sutures or staples. These should be gone by the third week but it can take up to 10 months before laxity to your donor area is restored and your scalp feels like it used to.
There is minimal discomfort following an FUE procedure. You might experience minor swelling, soreness or itchiness as the tiny puncture holes heal, which is a far faster process than healing from an FUT procedure.
Strenuous exercise can put pressure on, or stretch, the back of the scalp after an FUT hair transplant, so should be avoided for a month or two.
When it comes to FUE procedures, you could only have to wait a couple of days and fourteen at the most. Your surgeon will give you advice based on your exercise routine and the extent of your procedure.
Finally, we offer both shaven and unshaven FUE treatments (UFUE), meaning that your transplant could go completely unnoticed should you wish. There’s some extra skill involved in this and we’re proud to have surgeons on our team who are part of the select few able to successfully perform this procedure.
Find out the details of the FUE recovery process here.
Hair Transplants at The Private Clinic
Our Consultant Hair Surgeons are among some of the best in Europe and they prefer the follicular unit extraction (FUE) method because it’s accurate, with a high success rate and involves no discomfort during or after the procedure. Our highly experienced team is also part of a select few to offer unshaven procedures, and their expertise has secured them highly satisfied patients.