What is FUT?
FUT is commonly known as “Follicular unit Transplant”, also known by the “strip” method – sometimes also called FUS or Follicular Unit Strip Surgery. It is one of two harvesting options for hair transplant clients today. FUT is a different harvesting method than FUE. It has a more efficient way to extract hair, can move more hair in one session, and allows for future surgery. Today, the debate continues about whether FUT or FUE is better.
FUT is performed by a doctor who maps the thickest and healthiest section (the back and sides of the scalp) of hair follicles. Next, the doctor uses a knife to make a straight incision and remove any hair-bearing skin. Then, the area is closed immediately with staples or sutures and then hidden beneath the surrounding hair. Ten days later, the staples and stitches will be taken out. The incision line will become a fine, linear scar that is usually 1-2mm wide and difficult to see – even for those with shorter hair.
The hair transplant technicians then take the strip and divide it into individual follicular units. These “grafts” are used for transplantation. High quality grafts are made by being able to dissect the hair down to the level where the follicles are. These grafts are free from trauma and have the right amount of support tissue. This is enough to ensure that the grafts grow and survive well, but not too much so that they look sloppy or unfinished.
FUT harvesting targets only the most important area of the donor region and removes the tissue in one segment. This allows for more grafts per session. The donor area’s density remains the same because the edges of each strip are joined during closure. These ultra-refined FUT mega-sessions can be performed by large clinics and well-trained staff. They routinely move thousands grafts with great growth and little damage to the donor area. FUT allows for the most repeat procedures and life-time grafts, especially for patients who have FUT and FUE first.
Amazing growth rates are possible due to the gentle and atraumatic nature FUT. According to studies, the growth rate is between 95-98% (which means that for every 100 follicular unit you move using the FUT technique approximately 95-98 survive and thrive). FUT tends to give the most thick, natural growth for each follicle. FUE is not able to do the same. Although FUE is a great, modern technique, research shows that it does not grow as consistently as FUT.