Is FUE Hair Transplant the Best Harvesting Technique?
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FUE vs FUT preference depends on the patient
Strip method versus follicular unit extraction
Is FUE the best technique?
With FUE (follicular unit extraction) there is no 'linear scar' but contrary to popular belief there is a scar! However, it's just a tiny tiny circular "microscar". It's hard to see and that's the great thing about FUE. But it is a scar nevertheless. Because the area heals with a microscar, it is often possible for one to wear their hair very very short.
What are the downsides of FUE?
If an individual is likely to go on to develop more significant balding in advanced ages, then it's possible that with FUE surgery will involve taking hairs from an area in the donor region that might not truly be permanent hairs.
Take two men at age 29 with thinning in the front of the scalp. Both are destined to go on to develop a Norwood VI pattern without surgery. One gets 2500 grafts with strip and one gets 2500 grafts with FUE. Both look great one year after their surgery and both look good 10 years after. But do both look good 30 years after their surgery? There is a slightly greater chance that the man who had strip will have "fuller" hair at age 57.
It's important for all men consider hair transplant to understand this concept. There are unique benefits to both strip and FUE.
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Is there a best technique for hair transplantation.
FUT and FUE Methods are Excellent Harvesting Techniques for Hair Transplant
FUE vs. FUT
Is FUE a Better Technique than FUT ?
The complexity can be understood by just comparing them on how short the hair can be used afterwards. The linear scar of FUT can be very fine and well hidden inside the strongest portion of the donor area that it may allow using the hair quite short, if not totally shaven. On the other hand, the seemingly scarless FUE may cause white dots and a moth-eaten appearance at the sides and close to the neck where the density is not so good and hair is usually cut quite short. Therefore even the the assumption that FUE allows for using the hair shorter may be mistaken.
FUT vs strip vs FUE hair transplants
Terminology may not be important to some people, but if its a matter of a large scar on your scalp it may matter to you. However, i agree that it does not stop at terminology. Once you decide if you are ok with one method vs the other(my thought is they both produce good growth but its the side effects and costs that make the difference) THEN the key thing is finding a dedicated center that is good at it. Do you want to go to a place that mixes FUE and FUT, or just dedicated to one or the other? Do you want to go to a place that also does Lipo and botox and hormone therapy or to a dedicated center? It depends on how much you value specialization.
Is FUE Hair Transplant the Best Harvesting Technique?
If the choice is left to me, the surgeon, then I recommend FUE if you will maintain a very short hair cut where you can almost see skin or if you are young with uncertain future hair loss and want to keep your options open. Another scenario is if I feel the nature of your hair means it does not lay down sufficiently resembling open venetian blinds! Finally there could be technical reasons like a tight scalp or history of non-ideal scarring.
I tend to recommend strip or FUT, if you require a very large number of grafts but unwilling to shave your donor hair for FUE, have very good scalp elasticity and done mind a linear scar hidden amongst your hair. Cost can also come into it, as generally speaking FUT is cheaper than FUE
FUE is not always the best
My point is that I am very familiar with the FUE, ARTAS, NeoGraft, and all forms of harvesting hair follicles. I perform FUE in my practice with my hybrid FUE instruments, ARTAS, or even NeoGraft. This does NOT mean FUE is the best method.
Many doctors push FUE or Neograft or ARTAS claiming "no scar" or "minimally invasive".
Many doctors dissuade patients from strip surgery asking "why would you want a big scar".
The focus should be on RESULTS. Not how a doctor takes out the grafts.
In terms of graft quality between FUE (ARTAS, Neograft) versus Strip, the Strip harvested grafts are generally better (which means better results). The exceptions are the doctors with unskilled staff, then the ARTAS grafts will be better.
From a donor scarring perspective, if you are ever going to shave your head or cut your hair really short, you should probably get the FUE. That is it. If a "line scar" scares you, then get the FUE. Just remember a 4000 graft FUE scar is like having a collective open wound hole the size of a baseball on the back of the head. There is nothing minimally invasive about that. I also perform Scalp MicroPigmentation (SMP) and fix horrible FUE scars routinely. There is nothing "scarless" about FUE. I have performed surgery on Dr. Rassman and his family members using the strip technique. The linear scar on Dr. Rassman is a pencil thin line you probably will have a hard time finding. The point is, a strip surgery scar is not as terrible as the internet makes it out to be.
The focus should be on Results.
A bad hair transplant result from FUE or Strip is like Herpes. You'll carry it with you for life.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.