FUT Hair Transplant
Hair transplants have become the norm for men who want to bring back the hair they have excessively lost in an untimely manner. Society is warming up to the idea of surgical hair restoration, increasing the number of patients over the years.
There are different options for a prospective patient to look into and one of them is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Like all procedures, a good amount of knowledge about it can go a long way in determining how beneficial it shall be for the patient down the line. So before the point of no return, read up and decide for yourself if FUT is the one.
What is FUT?
Follicular Unit Transplantation is the hair transplant technique that transfers the hair from the healthy or permanent zone to the balding areas of the scalp. The permanent zone include the back and sides of the scalp that is typically more resistant to hair loss.
How It’s Done
The FUT transfers follicular units that may contain up to four hairs at a time to the balding area of the scalp. The surgeon does it by removing a strip of tissue that contains the hairs and removes it after the patient is anesthetized. The strip is then cut into individual follicular units with the use of microscopic dissection techniques. While the grafts are being prepared, the recipient sites or the tiny holes in the scalp where the transplanted hair will be placed are created.
Know the Doctor’s History
What you have to ensure at this point is the capability and experience of the doctor to position the follicular grafts. The positioning dictates how natural looking the grafts would eventually appear. So before even deciding on the doctor, demand for before and after pictures of past patients.
Advantages of FUT
Transfer of a Large Number of Follicular Units
There are patients whose hair loss are minimal and there are those who lose patches of hair. The latter would benefit more from this advantage because unlike the FUE which can transfer about 2,000 follicular units at most, the FUT can allow up to 4,000 follicle units to be transferred with “super session” allowing the transfer of up to 5,000 follicular units.
High Follicle Survival Rate
Though technology has advanced faster and more significantly in the past couple of years, the survival of the hair follicle remains to be fallible up to a certain extent. Among the procedures out there, FUT has a higher rate of follicle survival. Though it is the goal of every patient to have a successful hair transplant, the success becomes more urgent when the patient has limited available hair for the procedure. Every follicle should count for such individuals.
Because of this kind of approach in transplanting the grafts, the FUT becomes the most economical option for the patient. When we talk about hair transfers, the rate is usually on a per follicle basis. Elementary math would tell you how much cheaper it is when you need a lot of hair for your procedure.
Hair transfers take a lot of time and in some cases even more than one session because of the sheer number of follicles involved in the procedure. With the FUT, the hours are significantly reduced and is perfect for those who do not have the luxury of downtime and have to resume their daily routine as quickly as possible. Most patients would still like to have their surgeries on the down low and being away for a long period of time easily gives away the heavily guarded secret.
Topnotch Hair Quality
Most, if not all patients want that natural look on the scalp after the operation and the quality of the hair from FUT is still considered as the benchmark in the industry. Such is possible because of donor areas of the FUT are healthier compared to those of the FUE.
Risks of FUT
Inflammation or Infection
Common among a lot of surgical procedures, some patients would experience the inflammation of the affected area or an infection called folliculitis. Nothing to worry about because these can be easily treated by antibiotics and compresses.
This is the condition when the area where the new strands were extracted would lose some of its hair. A natural reaction to what was done to it, the loss is usually not permanent.
Because of the extraction of strips and not individual follicles, there is still the chance for scarring to happen. However, in the hands of a competent doctor, the growth should effectively cover the said area.
Cost of FUT / Cost of FUE
Compared to FUE that would typically be worth anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 per procedure, the FUT comes out to be less expensive with a price range of $4,000 – $9,000. The final cost is determined by the number of hair follicles you need for the procedure to look as natural as possible. With this situation, be wary of doctors who egg you on to use more follicles than needed. Such doctors have other interests in mind aside from the success of your surgery.
The procedure is the first step and the journey towards natural looking hair growing successfully on your scalp have many phases that the patient has to be aware of to avoid unnecessary panic and fears. And by knowing what to expect, you get to handle the situation more effectively.
The Tender Stage
After the procedure, you can expect your scalp at its most tender so you would want to avoid hitting your head with anything during this period. As such, you can expect a little pain for several days after the operation.
The scalp is also susceptible to swelling and this can be remedied by a specific medication. If the patient feels the kind of swelling that takes place across the bridge of the nose and around the eyes, there is no need to worry about anything because this usually goes away by the end of the first week of post-surgery.
The surgeon shall also request you to wear bandages over your scalp over a period of 1-2 days and supplement your healing with a prescription for antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Generally speaking, the patient is expected to get back to work with a 2-5 day period.
The Next Few Weeks
Patients should expect the transplanted hair to fall out within 2 – 3 weeks after surgery and expect to hair growth within a couple of months. The shedding shall make the transplanted are look slightly thinner and this should not bother the patient at all.
The Growth Period
It is within this period that hair reaches that length when it can already be groomed and eventually look very natural on the donor area. Hair growth for most people would be around 60% and shall happen usually after 6 to 9 months. After a year, you can expect the locks of the patient to look as if there was no operation done on the patient.
To hasten and improve hair growth after the procedure, a majority of surgeons would prescribe the hair-growing drug named Minoxidil. This helps hasten the process and encourage the growth of natural looking hair.
To learn more how FUT hair transplant can work for you, Dr. Andrew Kim of the Australian Institute for Hair Restoration can provide you with an in-depth assessment of your balding condition and the treatment that is best for you.