Hair Transplant Techniques
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is the primitive technique of hair transplant. It is popularly called ‘strip method’ where a strip of scalp skin containing hair roots is taken from the back of the scalp. This strip is cut under microscopes into individual ‘grafts’ containing hair roots. These grafts are planted on the bald area. The area of the scalp from where the strip is taken is sutured and this wound heals in a week or two. Newer methods like Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) have slowly replaced this technique.
Advantages of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
- The involvement of doctors is less in Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Therefore this technique is cheaper compared to others.
Disadvantages of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
- There are more chances of infection because the wound is large.
- Sutures are required to close the wound
- It is more painful.
- Healing time is long (about 1-2 weeks). There is loss of work hours.
- The wound after healing leaves a permanent scar. So after transplant hair have to be kept long to hide the scars.
- The strip which is taken out undergoes a lot of mechanical handling and it remains outside the body for long periods (3-5 hours). Hence many grafts die during this process and they do not grow even after transplantation.
- With Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), only scalp hair can be harvested. We cannot harvest body hair. So in advance cases of baldness which require body hair also, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is not sufficient for good coverage.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
The method of extracting grafts is the only thing that marks a difference between Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), each hair graft is removed from the donor region one by one using fine punches of caliber less than 1mm and is stored for about 3-6 hours in a storage solution. After creating slits (space for putting hair grafts) these stored grafts are then implanted one by one into the recipient site. The site from where grafts are taken heals in 2-7 days without apparent scarring. This is also called ‘Stitch less hair transplantation’.
Direct Hair Transplant (DHT)
This is the most advanced technique of hair transplantation. It is a modification of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique. In this technique, first slits are created in the recipient bald area. Then grafts are harvested from the donor area and transplanted within minutes (2-20) to the recipient area. The chances of grafts survival is almost 100%. Since all the hair grafts survive, maximum density is achieved only with Direct Hair Transplant (DHT).
Advantages of Direct Hair Transplant (DHT)
- Human hair is a very delicate tissue. The chance of its survival decreases if it is kept outside the body for a longer period. In Direct Hair Transplant (DHT), we reduce this “body out time” by immediately transplanting the hairs after harvesting.
- The need of any chemical storage solution is also omitted in Direct Hair Transplant (DHT). Hence there is no chemical damage to grafts, which results from storage of grafts into storage solution.
- The overall duration of procedure is reduced which increases client and surgeon comfort.
Disadvantages of Direct Hair Transplant (DHT)
- Direct Hair Transplant (DHT) involves a big highly skilled team of 7-10 persons because multiple steps of hair transplantation are carried out simultaneously. This also requires special patent instruments. Hence it is more expensive and technically demanding.
Comparison of Hair Transplant Techniques