If you are someone suffering from hair loss, you may have come across two main types of hair restoration procedures: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Many patients have raised questions about how these two hair transplant procedures differ from one other. As a result, choosing between these procedures can be overwhelming. To help you decide which hair restoration procedure best fits your needs, Dr. Hong will discuss with you the pros and cons of the individual procedures as well as answering any questions you may have prior to surgery.
Dr. Colin Hong is committed to educating his patients about the processes and expectations you may have of FUE and/or FUT during your consultation. He is passionate about helping you choose the procedure to restore your hair that best addresses your concerns and your unique situation in order to produce a great result.
What is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?
Follicular unit hair transplantation (FUT), otherwise known as the “strip” method, is a hair transplant procedure that harvests viable follicular units (hair follicles) from a patient’s donor area in strips to provide that patient with follicles that can then be extracted and used for full hair restoration.
At Dr. Colin Hong’s, this procedure is a two-phase process (not including time to heal) that encourages swift recovery and minimal discomfort. Our Toronto-based hair transplant clinic is renowned for creating natural FUT hair transplants in a professional and discreet environment.
WHAT CAN FOLLICULAR UNIT TRANSPLANTATION DO FOR PATIENTS?
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) makes it possible for men and women suffering from androgenetic alopecia to experience an affordable solution to hair loss.
- Success rate of more than 95%
- Greater number of hair follicles transplanted at one time
- Natural-looking results
- Minimized scalp trauma
WHAT IS THE FOLLICULAR UNIT EXTRACTION PROCEDURE?
FUT is one of the two methods of extracting and transplanting hair follicles. Unlike FUE harvesting (which extracts single follicular units at a time), FUT extracts strips of follicles directly from the patient’s donor area.
PHASE ONE: PRE-SURGICAL STAGE
First, we begin by giving the patient a mild sedative, either orally (Ativan) or intravenously (Versed), to minimize anxiety, reduce discomfort, and help to prevent any side effects that the anesthetic may cause.
Then, we clip the patient’s hair in the donor area to create a sizable strip of cut hair. If the hair in the donor area is left 1 to 2 inches long, the hair above the donor site should completely mask this area immediately after the procedure..
PHASE TWO: SURGICAL STAGE
Next, we anesthetize the donor area of the patient with a local anesthetic using a very small gauge needle (typically a needle that is smaller than most acupuncture needles). This is the only uncomfortable part of this procedure. Many patients express that this part of the FUT process causes less discomfort than a visit to their dentist! But for patients who are wary of needles, we can also provide an inhalation anesthetic to minimize the discomfort of the needle.
Once the anesthetic has taken effect, Dr. Colin Hong will begin removing small strips of donor tissue from the scalp to be used for dissecting individual follicular units for transplantation. Stereo-microscopic dissection allows the hair transplant team to remove follicular units from the strips without damaging the transplantable units, creating a more customized extraction process based on the nature of your follicles.
The hair transplant team will then prepare the scalp to receive the donor hair follicles. Once the transplant area has been prepped and anaesthetized, a needle will be used to create spaces to insert the hair follicles. One by one, these hair follicles will be placed into their new location in a natural and aesthetic pattern.
PHASE THREE: HEALING
Once the transplant is complete, our grafts are held in place by your coagulated blood and a light but secure turban-like bandage that may be applied after the operation and left in place overnight. Patients undergoing hair transplant at the front of their scalp who do not experience more than the normal amount of bleeding during surgery can go home two hours after their procedure without a bandage around their head. However, most patients prefer the security of an overnight bandage. All patients must return the next morning to remove the bandage (if applied) and undergo a professional follow-up cleansing, hair washing, and check-up.
Benefits of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
While FUT and FUE are two of the most popular hair transplant procedures, the former has a couple of advantages.
Higher Numbers of Follicle Units
FUT allows for a larger number of follicles to be harvested and transplanted in just one session. Generally, FUT usually involves the transfer of 4000 follicle units, but it also allows for “super sessions” wherein up to 5000 follicle units are transferred in just a single appointment. The FUE process is more time consuming and impacts a greater area of the scalp, and thus fewer hair follicles can be harvested at one time (please see our FUE article).
Increased Follicle Survival Rate
Another benefit of FUT hair transplant procedure is that the extracted hair follicles have a greater possibility of survival. Hair follicles can grow out of the scalp in all directions and angles. FUT allows for the precise and delicate removal of the hair follicle based on its individual direction of growth. This helps to maintain the viability of the follicle and increases its success of hair growth after transplantation. A qualified hair restoration specialist can perform this customized removal process in the most careful manner.
Considering that FUT is a surgical procedure, it is inevitable that scarring will likely occur at the donor site from where the strip is removed. However, it can be easily covered by growing your hair. If you prefer to keep your hair long, then the scar will not be noticeable.
Shorter Operation Time
One of the benefits that FUT hair transplant procedure can offer to patients is how fast the procedure can be. The harvesting of hair follicles from an entire strip of tissue allows for a faster extraction process which also yields more follicles than FUE. In one session, up to 5,000 hair follicles can be removed from the donor area of the patient and transplanted to the part where the patient wants hair restoration. The procedure is very convenient to patients who are not able to commit to multiple treatments.
The greater yield from one session of FUT reduces the need for another procedure in order to achieve the desired density of the transplanted area. This reduction in appointments helps to reduce the cost needed to obtain the perfect look. If you are looking for a more cost-effective hair restoration, then FUT may be the option for you.
Why Choose Dr. Colin Hong?
Patients who are suffering from hair loss, thinning of hair, or baldness can be considered ideal candidates to have a hair transplant procedure. One of the important factors of a successful FUT hair transplant procedure is to identify the right doctor for the procedure. To help you determine what hair restoration procedure best fits you, Dr. Colin Hong welcomes all your questions and he is more than willing to explain the process, expectation, benefits and the possible risks of the different hair restoration options during a consultation.
Personalized Hair Restoration
Dr. Hong believes that every patient is unique. That is why during the initial consultation he carefully listens to what you desire for your unique hair restoration. He will determine which procedure is appropriate for you and your wishes, and will recommend the best course of action. He ensures that he is able to explain how the procedure works. Dr. Hong takes the time to communicate with his patients and ensures that questions and concerns are addressed accordingly. Dr. Hong is committed to providing a professional and personalized treatment plan to achieve a successful result of the procedure.
Hair Restoration Package
Our dedicated and friendly staff at the clinic will address your concerns regarding your goals, expectations, and financial plans to provide you with a professional and patient-centred service that is worth your time and money. We provide different options and hair treatment packages to cater to your needs during your experience with us. So if you are looking for excellent results for your hair loss problem, please feel free to contact us and see if FUT is the right hair transplant procedure for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does FUT Cost?
Hair Transplantation procedures can range from $4000-$10,000 but the actual cost of our FUT procedure varies depending on the condition of the patient and their expectations. During the initial consultation, you will be examined to see if the procedure is right for you and you will be informed of the possible cost associated with it. Normally, the cost depends on the number of grafts to be removed and transplanted and how thick you want your hair to be. If you want to know more about the cost of different hair restoration procedures then we encourage you to contact our hair transplant clinic at (416) 222-6986 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Colin Hong.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
The answer depends on the area and degree of hair loss, and how thick you want your hair to be. You will need to see your plastic surgeon and speak to them about your expectations and goals in order for you to achieve the optimal result you envision. An experienced hair transplant specialist can give you an idea as to how many sessions are required to achieve your desired results.
Does Hair Transplantation Give Permanent Results?
Yes. The goal of hair transplant procedures like FUE and FUT is to provide a permanent solution to patients who are suffering from hair loss. Once the hair follicles have taken root and survived after transplantation, the results are permanent. This is the reason why it is important that the procedure must be performed by an expert and qualified hair transplant surgeon to achieve a desirable result. However, this new hair follicles can be affected by regular hair loss like the rest of the hair on your head.
Hair Transplant Side Effects?
As with any surgery, side effects can occur. FUT is a relatively minimally invasive surgery, so the risks for side effects are low. They most commonly include pain, bleeding, swelling and bruising. Most of these can be resolved with time, or medications that Dr. Colin Hong will prescribe.
Who Can Benefit From Hair Transplantation?
A hair transplant procedure is an excellent option for people who are seeking to restore their hair from hair loss. Normally, anyone who is healthy and over 18 years old can seek hair restoration treatments.
Will the Scar Be Visible in FUT?
It is inevitable that scars will likely occur when you go for a surgery. However, FUT is an ideal option for patients who like to have longer hairstyles as it will help hide the scar beneath the natural hair.
Do Hair Transplants Look Natural?
Hair transplant procedures are an excellent option in providing natural-looking results to hair loss. Nothing is more natural than using your own hair to give you a fuller mane. It will only take a day for you to finish the procedure and you can return to your normal activities the next day.
Is Follicular Unit Transplantation Painful?
Since you will receive local anesthesia before the actual procedure, you will most likely not feel any pain at all. There will only be slight discomfort during the administration of the anaesthesia. After your procedure, there will be post-operative instructions and medications prescribed by Dr. Colin Hong to keep you comfortable.