Strip method versus follicular unit extraction
Both methods yield very good results for the transplanted hairs. The follicular unit extraction has the advantage of minimizing a donor scar. The one downside of the follicular unit extraction is that one must shave the area where the donor graphs are being harvested from. The strip method leaves a long linear and possibly visible scar, however one does not need to shave down the hair so that one can be more conspicuous during the procedure period. The follicular unit extraction can mimic this, if one already has long hair in the donar area, and we shave a portion of the posterior scalp where were borrowing hair. Thus the remaining longer hairs are suitable for to hide the donor area until it grows out.
Is FUE the best technique?
FUE is not necessarily the 'best' technique - it's just different. It's critical that patients considering hair transplant surgery understand the unique differences in these two procedures.
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.
Is there a best technique for hair transplantation.
FUE technique involves individual extraction of hair unit of 1-4 hairs using tiny punches. The advantage is that there is no linear scar but multiple tiny scars which are generally not visible. This is great for individuals who want to wear their hair short. The down side to this technique, when compared with strip grafting methods is that the viability of the grafts can be slightly more compromised when harvested in this manner, and the number of grafts that can be harvested in one session is less
Is FUE Hair Transplant the Best Harvesting Technique?
Thank you for posting your question, great question. It is different case to case, patient by patient, the outcome is just as great if the density is replicated. Now, the questions comes how short are you planning on cutting your hair? FUE is the least invasive in recovery, which also gives the patients on sporting a shorter haircut and flexibility.
A: In Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), the hair for relocation is obtained by surgically excising a strip of hair bearing skin from the donor region of the scalp. The skin edges of this wound are then sutured closed. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a revival of the old punch technique obtaining donor hair with a small circular cutting instrument. These punches are used to harvest follicular units one at a time from the donor area. Each harvest or extraction creates a small circular scar. The difference is with the strip you get a continuous linear scar, whereas with punches you get discontinuous, round individual scars. Short hairstyles are well supported with either method of harvesting in the hand of a skilled physician. Large session sizes are much more easily accomplished utilizing FUT technique. Costs for FUE are often three times the cost of FUT on a per graft basis.
FUE vs FUT preference depends on the patient
FUE is a method to extract hairs without leaving a linear scar. Linear scars are more noticeable especially if you wear your hair short. Since you prefer to wear your hair short, FUE may be a better option for you. There are different FUE devices that allow the physician to extract the hairs. The ARTAS robotic procedure is the gold standard FUE device given its precision and efficiency. - Dr. Keaney
Is FUE a Better Technique than FUT ?
No, however the comparison of each technique and criteria on in which situation each technique is better is a very complicated topic that can not be covered in a few words. What I can say is that both techniques are valuable.
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.
Both methods give wonderful results if you are in professional hands and its just a matter of having a less invasive surgery or not.Nowadays FUE method has more increasing demand than FUT Method but FUT is still necessary to harvest more grafts.
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.
Which is better FUE or FUT?
6 years ago,Thank you for the question. One of my mentors during my fellowship in hair restoration surgery used to say: ”if all you have is a hammer, you think everything is a nail.” Of course meaning that multiple tools gives the hair restoration expert more ways to solve a problem. Which technique is best FUE or FUSS? Notice I did not say FUT! FUSS stands for follicular unit strip surgery. Technically, both FUE and FUT are follicular unit transplant. Because we obtain follicles whether we use one technique or the other. There are many differences between one technique and the other. I will attach a link to a longer discussion on the topic below. The bottom line is that it is best to research thoroughly before deciding to undergo any hair transplant. It truly requires an expert to decide which is best in your case. He will give you informed consent discussing both pro and con to each technique and make recommendations. True expertise is not granted by purchasing any tool. True expertise is derived from extensive training and years of experience. The true expert of course has many before and after photos available to show the quality of their work.
All the best,
Bernardino A. Arocha, MD