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What is an FUT hair transplant? Advantages & Disadvantages of the Follicular Unit Transplant

Man with hairloss needing a FUT hair transplant procedure.

If you are considering a hair transplant, chances are that you have come across different methods and are not sure which method is right for you. That's totally normal as each method has its own pros and cons and is not equally suitable for everyone.

In this blog, we inform you about the FUE method, what it means, how it works, what the pros and cons are and for whom it is suitable.

You can also have a look at our FUT VS. FUE VS. DHI blog. Here all three techniques are discussed and compared given their advantages and disadvantages, and for whom it is suitable.

Start your treatment? See our hair transplant service!

What is a hair transplant / hair implant?

In order to better understand the FUT method it is best to first look at what a hair transplant itself entails.

Hair restoration surgery or hair transplant is a type of surgery that extracts (removes) hairs you already have in the form of grafts and implants them in a different place. A graft is a very small piece of living tissue containing healthy hair follicles. The grafts are harvested from the donor area and then implanted in the recipient area (the balding area). This means that you are your own donor. When the transplanted grafts heal up, they are fully incorporated in the recipient area and can from then on produce hair.

What is an FUT hair transplant?

FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplant and is one of the oldest hair transplantation methods. Even though in some cases the FUT method leads to the best results, this method loses popularity especially to the newer FUE and DHI methods.

In the FUT method, a suitable piece of tissue is selected from the donor area (usually, the back of the head) and removed in the form of a long thin strip. Subsequently, this piece of tissue is divided into small units after which these units can be implanted in the recipient area. The main advantage of this method is that it is relatively inexpensive, the extraction is fast and the most amount of grafts can be harvested via this method (>5000). This makes this method very suitable for treating a large area. A big disadvantage is that with this method the patient is left with a long horizontal line as a scar, which doesn’t necessarily need to be an issue as long hair will cover it up.

FUT technique explained: All steps in the FUT hair transplant process illustrated.

How does an FUT treatment work?

The FUT treatment can be divided into three steps.

Step 1: Extraction

Step 1 of FUT hair transplant: Extraction of piece of tissue from the donor area.

Depending on the hair density on the donor area and the number of grafts to be harvested, a piece of tissue is selected for extraction after thorough analysis. This piece of tissue is then removed under local anaesthesia

Step 2: Preparation

The piece of tissue is divided into thin strips after which it is further subdivided into small units/grafts. These grafts are then sorted and preserved with a specific plasma solution that ensures the vitality of the grafts. In the meantime, the recipient area is pretreated by the opening of canals into which the grafts can be implanted.

Step 2 and 3 of FUT hair transplant: Division of tissue into thin strips, and subdivision into grafts for the follicular unit transplantation procedure.
Left: Dividing into strips Right: subdividing into Units/Grafts

Step 3: Implantation

Step 4 of FUT hair transplant: Implantation of the graft into the recipient area.

The grafts are placed one by one in the incised canals. Here, expertise from the surgeon required to place the grafts in the right angle and depth. After all the grafts have been implanted, the surgery is finished and the focus is on the aftercare, which is at least just as important!

Advantages and disadvantages of the FUT method

Advantages of the FUT method

• It is cheaper than the FUE and DHI method

• Hair density does not decrease in the donor area

• Harvesting the hair is faster

• The most hair follicles can be harvested by this method

Disadvantages of the FUT method

• A long and visible scar in the donor area (with short hair)

• The recovery period is long (10-14 days)

For whom is the FUT method suitable?

The FUT method is most suitable for people with a lot of hair loss, due to the scar at the back of the head it is usually preferred for people with long hair as the long hair can cover up the scar. This method is relatively cheap and is suitable for filling large areas, so it can be used to adjust the hairline, fill inlets and / or crown area.

Do you want to take the right step towards your hair transplant? Your Mediqle healthcare coach will help you on your way. Well-organized and completely free from start to finish!

At Mediqle we work together with only the best clinics/hospitals, both at home and abroad, and offer a lowest price guarantee. Therefore you are assured that you are not paying too much for the proper care. The Mediqle service is completely FREE for you from start to finish for contracted clinics and hospitals.

Would you like more information about hair transplants, the pros and cons of all treatments, how to start your medical journey and how to save money with our handy tips? See our hair transplant page, and perhaps we can help you too! #Mediqle

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