FUE, FUT, Strip Technique
The first important points are to define the terminology so we can better understand the Pros and Cons of various procedures. Follicular Units (FUs) are hair follicle units consisting of 1,2 3, and sometimes 4 hair follicles taken from a donor area. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is the technique of transplanting these FUs into graft areas (the recipient area where the patient is thinning).
There are two methods by which the FUs are extracted:
- Strip harvesting (Strip Technique or ST)
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Strip harvesting is when the doctor and technicians remove a strip of tissue from the donor area (usually the back of the head) then microscopically dissect the FUs and prepare them for transplantation. The patient's scalp is anesthetized using local anesthesia and a strip of scalp is removed with healthy hair follicles. The strip is then microscopically dissected into small pieces of tissue containing FUs that are then reinserted into the balding part of the scalp. Strip harvesting will leave a linear scar in the donor area.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is much more meticulous because the doctor and technicians remove individual hair follicles using micro punch removal. These FUs are then reinserted into the area where hair is thinning or bald. The benefit is that the process leaves no visible scars and requires no stitches.
Therefore, FUE is one technique of obtaining FUs for FUT. The transplantation of FUs into a recipient are is the same for both. As long as the doctor is using small grafts to place in the recipient area both the ST and FUE methods create natural results without the doll-like pluggy look of the past. It;s up to the doctor's expert and artistic eye to create a natural hairline and fullness.
The standard strip harvesting procedure involves surgically removing a strip of scalp from the donor area of the patient under local anesthesia. The skin ends of donor area is then sutured together. This is what leaves a donor scar.
The linear incision even when fully healed will leave a thin scar in the back of the head. This scar is typically hard to see once the surrounding hair grows out and conceals it, but the patient will always have to wear their hair slightly longer. Short hair would reveal the scar.
There is also a slightly higher risk of bleeding and infection since a larger cut is made and a wound is opened in the back of the head.
NeoGraft is the first and only FDA-cleared system that automates the surgical removal, collection, and placement of individual hair follicles, one at a time, eliminating the need for doctors to remove a large strip from the back of the scalp. NeoGraft's advanced technology allows patients to achieve natural looking results with no linear scar, minimal downtime and a shorter recovery period to achieve a discrete solution to hair loss.
The manual FUE-type hair transplants were labor-intensive and time consuming. This meant long multiple procedures to get the desired effect. Now our doctors can double the number of grafts transplanted in a single session saving patients both time and money. In fact, you can transplant twice as many hair grafts as manual FUE while reducing the cost of manual FUE hair transplant by almost half.
With the NeoGraft FUE patients obtain a more natural look with short or long hair for both men and women. Since the procedure is minimally invasive it is more gentle and safe with almost pain free results. There is surgical cutting with a scalpel so patients do not need staples or stitches and have no linear scar afterwards.
The recovery time is quick - usually 24-48 hours. So typically patients are back to work the next day. And there are fewer restrictions on patients such as showering, sleeping, and exercise.