Hair Transplant Surgery using FUT/FUSS Technique

Treatment information

With a FUT hair transplant, a whole strip of skin is cut from the donor area, as with mini-micro grafting, but, as with FUE, itís the single follicular units that are transplanted. The result is as good as with FUE.


About hair Transplant Surgery using FUT/FUSS Technique

FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation. FUT is newer, more advanced, and a better technique than mini-micro grafting. This is, at least, the general perception among doctors.

With FUT, a belt of the skin is cut out, just as with mini-micro grafting. Then the individual follicular units are cut out and planted, one at a time, in the recipient area. This is generally where the method differs from mini-micro grafting, seeing as with the older mini-micro grafting method, the skin is cut out into smaller pieces, although not completely down into the individual follicular units.

Generally on hair Transplantation

A surgical hair transplant involves taking hair from one area of the head, and placing them in a different area. Usually, the donor hair is taken from the neck or sides, where there are normally plenty of hair, and where a scar will be easy to conceal.

Due to the constant improvement of this extensive surgery, the interest for hair transplantation has increased in the course of the last decade.

Male pattern baldness is usually caused by a local increased level of sensitivity to the male hormone testosterone, which is created in increasing amounts, both during and after puberty. This hormone is converted by an enzyme (5-alpha reductase type II) into a different material - dihydrotestosterone (DHT). An increased presence of DHT will over the long run cause the hair to become thinner, loose pigmentation, and finally to stop growing completely.

When it comes to having a hair transplant, the result depends greatly on the amount of hair present in the selected donor area (this being an area on the patient's own head).

The hair is taken from the neck or sides, seeing as these areas rarely loose their hair. This is due to the fact that the 5-alpha reductase type II enzyme does not exist in these areas, and is therefore unable to convert the hormone to DHT.

The good thing about a hair transplant is that once the new hairs have been planted they will not fall off again.

Suitability

Whether you are suited for a hair transplant depends on your age, hair colour, type and amount of hair loss, and whether you have straight or curly hair. Only a doctor with experience in the field of hair transplantation will be able to counsel the individual patient with regards to this.

If you are already completely bald, a hair transplant will not be possible.

The procedure of hair Transplant Surgery using FUT/FUSS Technique

The principle of taking hairs from the neck or sides, and planting it onto the bare areas of the scalp, is the same as with mini-micro grafting. What is special about the FUT hair transplant is, that the individual skin strips are dissected down into only the follicular units, which is the natural form that hair grow in.

This is possible by using a single-bladed knife to cut out a strip of hair from the donor area (this is why the FUT technique is also called FUSS, meaning Follicular Unit Single Strip). Then the actual dissecting of the follicular units is done with the help of a powerful stereo microscope.

It is obvious, that a powerful microscope is beneficial for the surgeon to get a better view, making it easier to perform the transplant without damaging the follicular units or the individual hair follicles.

When the hair follicles are kept intact, it also gives the individual hairs the best possible conditions for optimal growth.

Studies show, that a FUT hair transplant with the use of a stereo microscope gives 25% more intact hair follicles compared to a hair transplant with the mini-micro grafting method.

The procedure of hair Transplantation

There are several different techniques for hair transplantation.

In order to understand the individual techniques for a hair transplant, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of how the hair on our heads actually grows.

Hair grows naturally in groups, often consisting of 1-4 hairs. Such a group with 1, 2, 3, or 4 hairs (though most often 2 or 3 hairs) is called a follicular unit, or FU in short.

When a clinic advertises with "Single Hair Replacement", or "Direct Hair Implant", they should be inquired about what they exactly mean by this. Does the clinic actually remove only follicular units with 1 hair, or is this simply an expression for moving one follicular unit with 1, 2, 3, or 4 hairs?

Furthermore, when having an FUT or an FUE hair transplant, one should look out for the fact that some doctors only transplant follicular units consisting of 1 hair, or 1 to 2 hairs. Others combine the size of the individual follicular units, so that, for instance, follicular units with 1 and 2 hairs are only used in front at the hairline, and follicular units with 3 to 4 hairs are only placed on the top of the head.

There is a lot of disagreement among hair transplant surgeons regarding what is the most appropriate technique. The best thing to do would be to ask the individual clinic about which technique they use, and possibly why they use this technique.

The duration of a hair transplant varies greatly and is dependant of the technique, character, and extent of the surgery. It is not uncommon for a hair transplantation to take 2-8 hours. Usually, a hair transplant using mini-micro grafts takes the shortest amount of time to perform. Second to this is the FUT. The FUE is the most time consuming of the techniques.

Anaesthesia

A hair transplant - regardless of which technique used - is usually performed in local sedation and is ambulant.

Side-effects

The biggest side effect of both the mini-micro grafting and the FUT technique is the scar inflicted after cutting out the strip of skin with donor hair from the back of the head. The good news are however, that this scar will normally not be visible, because hair will be covering it. Only patients with very short hair, or patients who shave their head will have a visible scar.




After the surgery, the patient may experience slight pains (least with FUE). Soreness, swelling, redness, and contusions (bruising) may occur during the few following days after the surgery (least with FUE). These will disappear within a week's time.

Risk of complications

As with any other form of surgery, there is a risk of consequences from the anaesthesia, infection, bleeding, poor healing, and a bad cosmetic result, as well as blood accumulation.

No surgery is risk free, but please note that complications with this form of surgery are very rare.

Healing and recovery

The FUT method gives the quickest healing compared to the other hair transplant methods. The tiny wounds, formed by the excision of the follicular units, are so small, that there is no need for stitching after the surgery, and you can expect it to heal within a week's time.

How long before the patient must wait before returning to work depends on the technique used, and how comfortable the patient is with publicly displaying, that the surgery has taken place.

In principle, some patients are able to resume work on the same day the surgery was performed, although most prefer to wait until the swelling has gone down a bit.

It will usually about one year, before the new hair has grown out fully.

Duration of the result

The transplanted hairs will remain throughout the patient's lifetime, because they come from the areas of the head where the hairs never fall off.