For every individual, hair remains the showpiece, the crowning glory that makes them appealing and presentable. Hair is a subject of beauty, health and personality. Having thick, silky soft hair is an asset that means a lot to a person, Hair loss means humiliation for many and is one of the worst nightmares for both men and women, especially when it is premature leading to a lot of upheavals in that individual’s life and behavior.
Hair loss occurs due to varied reasons, and some prominent ones include increasing atmospheric pollution, stress due to increased pace of modern life, improper food habits, hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, etc. All of these cause premature hair fall and eventually affects in all ways from personal to psychological and emotionally traumatizes the person and dents the confidence level.
Hair Transplant has changed all that. Its emergence has been a boon to scores of people with baldness and hair loss problems. One of its most prominent techniques, Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) has emerged as one of most sought after transplant procedures. Also known as Follicular unit hair grafting or “the strip method, it is an invasive procedure that involves the redistribution of naturally occurring follicular groupings from the posterior scalp (donor region) into the region of thinning hair in the midfontal scalp (recipient sites).[
- The donor area is ‘frozen’ (numbed) using local anesthetic. Hair bearing tissue is removed painlessly.
- A hair-bearing strip is excised from the permanent donor area on the sides and back of the head.
- The hair bearing tissue is divided into slivers approximately 1mm thick.
- The strip wound is then closed using self-dissolving or absorbable sutures which ensures that sutures get absorbed and the suture mark/line is hidden under the surrounding hair growth.
- The individual follicular unit grafts are dissected from the strip under magnification, using stereoscopic microscopes into Follicular Unit Grafts (FUG’s) containing 1, 2, 3 and 4 hairs per graft.
- The extracted follicles are grafted in splits and transplanted in groups of one to four hairs in the bald areas of the head.
- Each Follicular Unit contains the sebaceous oil glands, the muscle, and sometimes fine hairs. These small units can be transplanted several thousand at a time in a single operating session, increasing the cosmetic benefits of this procedure.
Why does the FUT most resemble natural growing hair?
The microscope allows the surgeon to cut away the greatest amount of epithelium (top layer of skin) with each follicular unit. The Units gets smaller than mini/micro grafts on cutting the greatest amount of epithelium away from the follicular unit (graft). This way, the follicular units can be placed in puncture sites closer together creating the most natural hair transplant possible. Another plus point is that in FUT, the use of special stereo-microscopes enables the surgeons to meticulously dissect the hair grafts. This helps preserve the follicular unit’s integrity and allows us to keep all of the growth elements of the hair follicle intact. Thus, the survival of the grafts is maximized as a result of which both the hair transplant and the underlying skin will look completely natural when the transplant matures over time. With FUT, thousands of grafts can safely be transplanted in one session, allowing the patient to complete the hair restoration as quickly as possible.
Since the procedure involves the use of the knife, it is performed under local anesthesia. The slits heal within a week and the transplanted hair follicular units are locked firmly in their new location. This transplantation technique gives excellent results. The USP of Follicular Unit Transplantation is that the units facilitate safe and effective transplantation of thousands of grafts in a single session, which maximizes the cosmetic impact of the procedure.
Those who benefit from FUT
- People who suffer from androgenic alopecia, sometimes referred to as male pattern baldness.
- People who would like to go for Eyebrow restoration, eyelash restoration, beard transplants and body hair transplants at same time as Hair Transplantation surgery.
Benefits of FUT method
- Person undergoing the treatment is both the donor and the recipient of the transplants, ensuring own natural area to cover bald spots
- Creates the most natural hair transplant possible
- Ensures closer placement of hair grafts and creative flexibility in designing the hair line.
- Preserves the way hair grows, in groupings of 1-4 follicles.
- Provides more luxurious head of hair
- Less damage to any existing hair in the recipient area.
- Provides multiple sessions of transplantation in order to achieve density.
- Results appear natural even upon close examination and can be extracted with just one single session for hair loss.
- Ensures that single session results mimic hair loss natural stages
- Multiple sessions can achieve suitable density
- Small size of hair grafts in transplant ensures that there is little to no scarring of the tissue.
- Allows a better distribution of grafts in the balding areas.
- Less transaction rates than FUE, which translates into more hair survival.
- No further surgical procedure is required after performing procedures of FUT.
- Shorter healing time and no bandage required after surgery.
How does the strip method work?
By meticulously dissecting and trimming the Follicular Units, it can be ensured that the grafts are comprised of healthy intact hair follicles as they naturally occur in the scalp. This way, two major benefits can be ensured:
- By transplanting grafts that contain naturally occurring follicular units (Follicular Unit Grafts – FUG’s) the doctor can ensure that, when transplanted, the grafts will produce hair which grows naturally, replicating the appearance of natural hair growth.
- Secondly, because this microscopic method of dissection is so specific, graft damage and wastage is minimal, resulting in a 30% greater graft yield.
Expected results of strip harvesting
On completion of Hair Transplant, a certain percentage of the transplanted shafts will fall out. However, the follicles will remain intact and simply enter a dormant state. They start to grow within three to six months, and full results may appear after six months or longer to be evident. By and large, hair transplant graft survival is said to be greater than 90 percent graft survival over time.