Scalp balding or thinning is one of the most significant cosmetic concerns for men and women worldwide. With lost hair, you can quickly tell how detrimental baldness can be for self-esteem. Fortunately, we live in the era of medical advancements that have helped industry experts to find solutions to many issues, including hair loss. The hair loss solution to discuss here is hair transplantation.
While hair transplantation has been around for decades, its modern-day methods are more refined, effective, and safer. The two main methods used for hair transplantation are FUE and FUT. We will compare both these techniques in the following lines.
FUE vs. FUT: Overview
FUE and FUT refer to the two different techniques to harvest hair follicles from one area of the scalp – usually the backside – and graft them into the balding or thinning area. The main difference between these methods lies in how hair follicles are taken from the donor site and processed before grafting. While this difference may seem meager at a glance, it can significantly impact the permanency of results, future treatment sessions, and your preferred hairstyle.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction)
FUE Hair Transplant in Dubai has become quite popular lately due to its efficacy and enhanced safety. During this procedure, the hair surgeon harvests individual follicular units from the scalp in a random fashion. The harvesting is carried out by making microscopic circular incisions that allow for easy pulling of the grafts.
The two methods used in FUE procedures are manual and robotic FUE. The surgeon uses a handheld device to make incisions during the manual procedure and pull out the grafts.
As the name suggests, Robotic FUE uses a robot machine that automates the process of follicle harvesting. A physician first selects the amount of hair to harvest and maps out the proposed donor area. Then, a robot called ARTAS harvests the hair follicles. Robotic FUE is unquestionably more precise and accurate than the manual version.
Here is the procedure involved in manual FUE.
- First off, the surgeon will shave down the hair on your donor site and the area around the recipient site.
- Then, they will remove hair follicles from the donor site using a micro-punch tool.
- After that, they will make tiny incisions in the recipient area using a small, sharp instrument or a needle.
- The harvested grafts will be inserted into the tiny incisions in the recipient site.
- In the end, the surgeon will clean the treated area and apply a bandage to facilitate recovery.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation)
Although FUT is an older technique than FUE, it is considered the gold standard in hair transplantation. A FUT procedure involves cutting a strip of scalp, usually on the backside of the head. Then, the surgeon removes individual follicles from that strip. The size of the strip usually depends on the number of hairs required in the bald area.
Here is what a FUT procedure entails:
- During the first step, the surgeon will draw a hairline and mark the donor area. They will then apply local anesthesia to numb the treatment site. Also take photographs of your head for medical records.
- They will trim down the hair on the donor site to two millimeters.
- Then, they will cut the strip of the scalp containing follicles that are to be used as grafts.
- A technician at the clinic will remove individual follicles or grafts from the strip to prepare them for the further procedure.
- The area of the removed strip will be sutured and closed.
- Then, the surgeon will insert individual follicles into the balding area of your scalp in a natural-looking pattern.
- Finally, the surgeon will apply antibiotic medication to the scalp and cover the treated area with bandages.
Comparing FUE and FUT
Here is a quick comparison of both transplantation methods to highlight their differences.
- Both FUE and FUT use entirely different follicle extraction processes. FUE is minimally invasive as your surgeon extracts individual hair follicles for grafting. This process can take anywhere between one to four hours, depending on how many hair follicles are extracted. On the other hand, FUT involves cutting a strip of scalp from the donor site, which can take 15 to 30 minutes.
- During both FUE and FUT, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the recipient area for graft insertion. However, FUT involves an additional procedure of the strip division into individual grafts. Once the grafts are ready, they are inserted into those tiny incisions in the recipient site.
- Scarring on the donor site is yet another significant difference between FUE and FUT. Due to individual micro-incisions created during FUE, the donor site doesn’t take much time to heal. Taking care of these incisions doesn’t require a medical procedure either. On the other hand, cutting a strip of the scalp during FUT leads the donor site to require suturing to close the scalp.
- While FUE seems significantly less invasive than FUT, it impacts the prospects of future transplantation procedures. Graft extraction during FUE can damage adjacent hair follicles. Conversely, FUT doesn’t cause any harm to nearby hair follicles, meaning that you are all set for the follow-up transplantation procedure once your donor site heals.
- If you want to wear short hair after a transplant, FUE is probably a better choice. The extraction of individual hair follicles during FUE doesn’t change the appearance of your scalp significantly. However, FUT results in a linear scar that may become prominent when you wear a short hairstyle.
Both FUE and FUT come with pros and cons. Thankfully enough, the pros of both these hair transplantation methods outweigh their cons. Moreover, modern-day Dubai hair transplant methods now allow most patients to look at their preferences rather than weighing a particular procedure’s pitfalls. Even so, it would be necessary to speak to a hair surgeon before choosing between FUE and FUT.