Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) is a surgical hair restoration procedure that involves removing a strip of skin from the scalp (usually from the back of the head) and dissecting it into individual hair follicles. These hair follicles are then transplanted to the area of hair loss. FUT is one of the most widely used hair transplantation techniques and has been in use for many decades.
The procedure typically begins with the patient having their hair trimmed to a short length and the scalp is numbed using local anesthesia. The surgeon then removes a strip of skin from the scalp, usually from the back or sides, this area is called the donor site. The strip is then carefully dissected under a microscope into individual follicular units, which are groups of 1-4 hair follicles. The surgeon will then carefully create incisions in the recipient area, the area where the hair loss is located, and transplant the follicular units into these incisions.
The size and number of the follicular units, as well as the number of incisions, will depend on the extent of hair loss and the patient’s desired outcome. The procedure typically takes several hours to complete, depending on the number of follicular units transplanted.
After the procedure, the transplanted hair will fall out within the first two to three weeks, this is a normal process. New hair growth will typically begin to appear within three to four months, and the final results will be visible within a year.
One of the main advantages of FUT over other hair transplantation techniques is that it allows for the transplantation of a large number of hair follicles in a single session. This can result in a more dramatic and natural-looking hair restoration.
However, one of the main disadvantages of FUT is that it results in a linear scar on the scalp, which can be visible if the patient has short hair. Additionally, FUT can be more invasive than other hair transplantation techniques, and can result in more pain, swelling, and a longer recovery time.
FUT is not a one-time procedure, and multiple sessions may be needed to achieve the desired result, depending on the extent of hair loss and the patient’s desired outcome.
Complications of FUT are rare, but can include bleeding, infection, and poor healing. It’s also possible for the transplanted hair to fall out or not grow in the desired area.
One should have realistic expectations about the results of the FUT procedure and to understand that it may not be a permanent solution for hair loss.