We are all familiar with hair transplantation and as more and more success stories are told around the world, be it seeing it first hand from friends and family, or hearing about it online in forums and blogs, the number of people undergoing successful hair transplants will only increase exponentially.
The two main techniques available and effective are the strip method (also known as Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT) or the Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE method. Whereas the strip technique involves making a cut into the full thickness of the scalp to harvest the grafts, FUE hair transplant involves just making micro punches with a very specialized instrument. This ensures that the majority of the scalp is left intact. Most patients cannot accept the risk of having a line as a scar on the back of the scalp, no matter how small that risk is. As such FUE, which is scar-less compared to the strip technique, is the obvious choice for many.
In terms of wound healing and pain, FUE is also noted to have a faster healing time, less post operative pain (no pain in most instances) and there is no need to remove stitches or staples, compared to the strip method.
The grafts that are transplanted into the recipient area do equally (be it the strip or FUE technique) well under the right hands and team. It is the scar that the strip method leaves behind that prompt many to go for FUE instead.
In terms of difficulty of both procedures, FUE is much more painstaking for the doctor performing the procedure, as he has to individually harvest all the grafts. As for the strip, the doctor’s role is to cut out the strip of hair, hand that bit to his technicians (who will then get down to cutting the grafts down to mini and micro grafts) and close the scalp by stitching.
Overall, FUE seems to give a better patient experience. That is probably why FUE will most likely be the main method used for hair transplant in the near future.