Strip Method Harvesting Hair Transplant (FUT) VS FUE
The increase in both marketing and internet-hype of motorized follicular unit extraction for hair transplant procedures in Los Angeles has potentially created some confusing facts for both consumers and physicians, especially for those less experienced with hair restoration surgery.
Both FUT (Strip Method Harvesting) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) are excellent options for hair transplant harvesting. There are certain individuals who are better candidates for one versus the other. I will outline some of the advantages and disadvantages of both below.
FUT has been performed for decades with very consistent results. This process involves the removal of a strip of scalp from the donor region with the scalp sutured closed. This produces a linear scar that is typically about 1-3mm in width. When it is performed with a tricophytic closure as Dr. Dauer routinely does, it results in hair growth through the scar which further camouflages it. Normally patients can safely cut their hair down to a 4 cm haircut with no visibility of the FUT scar and some patients can go as low as a 2 cm haircut without seeing the scar. The scar is visible at a 1 cm haircut in most cases.
With FUT there is a slight increase in possible complications due to the fact that a strip of tissue is being removed and then the scalp is sutured but in general, over 99% of my patients heal very well from FUT with thin linear scars. Patient’s that have severe hair loss patterns or predicted severe hair loss patterns for the future can maximize their donor region by having one or two FUT procedures and then having FUE above and below the strip scar. FUT is also slightly less expensive than FUE.
FUE is an amazing procedure when it is performed correctly by an experienced hair transplant surgeon. It involves the removal of individual follicles from the back and sides of the scalp with a specialized tool that separates the follicles from its skin attachments in order to pluck the follicles. Dr. Dauer is the one that performs FUE extraction in his hair transplant practice in Los Angeles whereas many practices use technicians instead of physicians for this process.
The tools for FUE have undergone major advances in the past decade. When performed by skilled hands, the results from FUE are equal to that of FUT. In certain cases it can even be better than FUT because FUE allows the surgeon to choose the follicles with more hairs per follicle, whereas with FUT you get what’s in the strip and can’t choose which follicles you harvest. There is typically less discomfort post FUE due to the fact that there are no sutures in the scalp post procedure and there are just tiny holes in the donor region that close up overnight. Post surgical discomfort from FUT is not typically severe but it tends to cause a little more discomfort than FUE.
FUE is not a scarless procedure. It creates small puncture wounds (typically, 0.8mm-0.9mm diameter) that leave a tiny white dot. Those dots are not visible unless the hair is shaved to a very short length (less than 1 cm). In some cases where large numbers of donor follicles are harvested from the donor region a #2 haircut may be required to conceal the dot scarring from FUE.
The bottom line is this, both FUT and FUE are excellent options depending on the patient. It is important to know the pros and cons of both to make an educated decision as to which is better for you. It is also important that your surgeon knows how to do both procedures so that they can provide you with an unbiased view of both.
Dr. Dauer himself has had both FUT and FUE procedures. He has a unique perspective from which he is happy to share his thoughts and esperience with his patients if they would like this to help them with their decision making process.
If you are interested in hair transplant in Los Angeles, contact the office of Marc Dauer, M.D. to schedule a consultation.