FUE after a prior FUT procedure?

Are there methods for an FUE procedure that help conceal a scar from a prior FUT procedure? I understand the recipient area will have some noticeable scabs for a good 10 days or so, but I'd like to avoid exposing the scar from my prior FUT procedure if possible. It seems that not many doctors offer unshaven FUE.

Doctor Answers 6

FUE into prior FUT scars?

Dear frozenabs007,

Thank you for writing in with your question. The FUE procedure was initially conceived for this very reason: to put hairs into previous FUT scars. In 2004 I performed the first “megasession FUE procedure” and published it in the medical literature. See the link provided. Prior to this publication the FUE procedure was mainly confined to putting hairs into FUT scars. Because scar tissue is made of dense collagen, and has much less vascularity when compared to virgin scalp, not all of the grafts placed into scar tissue are expected to live. With adjuncts like PRP with ACell and microneedling this problem can be minimized. In addition to transplantation of hair into your scar, you may consider scalp micropigmentation, or SMP. This is a method of injecting cosmetic tattoo ink into the scar in a stippled pattern so as to mimic hair; this colors the scar in a shade similar to your hair color, and in this fashion camouflages the scar further. I hope this information is helpful to you.

Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 151 reviews

FUE harvesting after FUT

since FUE is a blind extraction from above the skin the direction of hair is not visible. The reason doctors shave is to estimate the direction of the hair and where the hair follicle may be located. Therefore it is not a good idea to not shave in case of FUE. Also if you have done a strip,a skilled doctor should do the procedure in a way to remove the old scar and harvest the grafts so that you end up with one line only.  With FUT or the strip method you do t need to shave, you can leave your hair long. In your case I would recommend that you consider the strip method for your procedure. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

If you have a strip FUT scar already and you want FUE you would need to shave to have surgery.

If you have a strip FUT scar already and you want FUE you would need to shave to have surgery.  Long hair FUE is very limited in number of grafts you can harvest UNLESS you have very long hair and can cover the shaved donor area.

Having FUE after FUT (strip) surgery is sometimes not the best idea since one of the main reason for FUE is to have no FUT (strip) scar in the first place.  

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

FUE after Strip

People get an FUE procedure safely after a previous Strip procedure for a variety of reasons:

  1. No pain - FUE does not usually have pain after the procedure or it is very mild some patients with bad experience of previous strip procedure proceed with an FUE to avoid paint.
  2. Smoother recovery - Recovery after FUE procedures are much smoother in donor area. There is not tightness of the scalp and very minimal donor complications.
  3. Inability of harvest with strip - Might be a problem with the patients with very tight scalp that does not allow another strip or the ones who have a high risk to stretch their scars. 
  4. Less aggressive - Many people just want to have a less aggressive procedure that does not have anything to do with cutting and suturing of the scalp.

Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Wants to conceal a scar

The absolutely best way to conceal a scar is to use Scalp Micropigmentation (see web reference below). We have built up a very large following and people come from all over the world for this treatment. The two photos of the patient shown are the exact same patient and the scar, although invisible, is still there but you can not see it. 

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

FUE after FUT

The ability to perform FUE without head shaving after an FUT procedure depends on the amount of grafts to be harvested at the time of your FUE procedure, the length of your hair style, the quality of your hair, and the density of your donor area.  It is difficult to assess how many grafts can be harvested without knowing the factors of your hair length and donor hair density.  But the short answer to your question is--Yes--an FUE procedure can be performed after an FUT procedure.  Also, FUE grafts can be placed within your existing scar at the time of a secondary procedure to help camaflouge the scar as well.    

Anthony Bared, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

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.