In this method a hair bearing strip is removed from the donor area of the scalp. The length and width will be determined by the amount of graft required for the procedure. The donor strip is cut into many individual follicular units. Then the Doctor makes tiny holes in the recipient area, where the graft are placed. This whole procedure is done under local anesthesia. In FUT the donor area is closed with either staples or absorbable sutures (that don’t need to be removed) depending upon the particular situation.
Follicular Unit Transfer is one of the 2 primary methods of obtaining follicular units (naturally occuring groups of 1 - 4 hairs) for Hair Transplantation. The Alternative method is Follicular Unit Extraction, more commonly referred to as FUE. The significance of FUT is how the Follicular Units are obtained. FUT surgeons isolate a narrow strip of scalp tissue rich with follicles and remove the narrow strip of scalp directly which is closed immediately after with a suture specifically designed for this type of procedure known as a tricophytic closure.
Today, with modern day advances in medical technology and contnuing research FUT harvesting of grafts causes minimal scarring; a narrow linear scar approximately 1mm in height; in the patient's donor area where the follicle rich donor tissue has been removed. FUT scarring differs from scarring from FUE in that the latter procedure produces a tiny little circular scars in the donor area where the individual follicular unit(s) was removed. The tiny round scarring from FUE is often impossible to detect when hair in the donor area is at a normal length and the extraction is performed by a skilled surgeon. The same can be said for FUT, the linear scar can be impossible to detect with hair at a length of 4mm plus. While the outcome of the healing process, and thus the appearance of scar tissue, depends on several variables; including the depth of donor tissue, the skill of the surgeon, how the patient heals typically and whether the post-operative healing/recovery instructions are followed - short cropped hair or a shaved head will typically not be a limitation in comparison with the alternative strip harvesting procedure, FUT.
The recovery period after an FUT procedure is very simple and is advised to be between 10 - 14 days. You are encouraged to take some time away from work to ensure you are not subject to any activities or environments that may effect your follicular unit grafts during the healing phase. The intention within the recovery period is to nurture to transplanted grafts and prevent them from being displaced. It must be made apparent that you the patient are not bound to your bed, as with the procedure day itself, you are fit and well to leave the same day. During the recovery period you are advised to do very little and get plenty of rest avoiding any activities that may increase your blood pressure (heavy lifting or vigorous exercise) and to avoid bending over from the waist. Your physical appearance in the few days immediately after may be slightly effected by some minor swelling (more likely with restoration carried out in the frontal/temporal hairline), the appearance of scabbing around the recipient site creation and maybe an unfamiliar haircut - again all of these will resolve themselves promptly. The suture will be a dissolvable suture, however in our experience we insist the suture be removed at 10 days post procedure, as this renders a much more comfortable experience and proves to be beneficial with the healing.
In the immediate weeks after the procedure it is quite normal for the hairs contained within the transferred follicular units to shed. This is nothing to draw attention to or be alarmed. Around 2 - 4 months after the procedure is when 99% of all patient will begin to see any initial regrowth from the follicular units that begin a new Anagen growth phase. The most significant amount of regrowth shall be seen between 8 - 12 months. The full and final result of any hair transplant should be witnessed between 12-18 months at full maturity and your hair loss concern eliminated.
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