Types Of Hair Transplantation Procedures
The decision to undergo a hair transplantation procedure is a big one. While it would not be considered major surgery, it is still technically considered a surgery—albeit a minimally invasive type of surgical procedure. Because of this, it has all the risks that come with any surgical procedure: infection, bleeding, and unexpected complications. While these risks are definitely uncommon, they are enough to make hair transplantation a significant undertaking. This is not to mention the cost of the procedure that is often not covered by insurance.
For many, the potential benefits of a hair transplantation procedure far outweigh the aforementioned risks. Proponents of the procedure, as well as successful former hair transplantation patients, report that technological and medical advancements have greatly minimized the physical risks and that this technology, as well as payment plans, have made the treatments increasingly affordable. Of course, the results are the primary benefit of a hair transplantation procedure. A satisfied patient of such a procedure often finds it difficult to put a price on the satisfaction that comes with a restored head of hair.
After these pros and cons have been considered, and the decision has been made to undergo the procedure, there is still a decision to be made. Which hair transplantation method will the patient choose? That’s right; there is more than one option. Here is a look at the two leading methods of hair transplantation.
FUT is the commonly used acronym for the hair transplantation method called Follicular Unit Transplantation. In this procedure, a small strip of tissue is removed from the back of the head. From this strip of tissue, the hair transplantation specialist will harvest the hair follicles that will be moved—or, transplanted—onto the area of the head needing hair growth. This method is frequently used for patients that require a large amount of new hair to be grown. The reason FUT is utilized in these situations of larger areas of hair loss is that being able to extract hair from an entire strip of scalp tissue allows the hair transplantation specialist to use the patient’s entire scalp area to the maximum benefit of the procedure. Additionally, this form of hair transplantation procedure can mean that more individual grafts can be transplanted at one time—because they are all taken from the initial strip of tissue.
FUE is the commonly used acronym for the second major type of hair transplantation method practiced widely today—Follicular Unit Extraction. The major difference between this procedure and FUT is that in Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), each follicular unit is taken individually from the scalp without the removal of a strip of tissue as in Follicular Unit Transplantation. More often than not, this procedure is utilized in cases where smaller areas of the scalp need to be covered with hair that will be regrown. This procedure seems to be used more and more frequently, however, even for patients with larger areas of need. Though FUE has historically cost more than FUT due to the individualized harvesting of follicles, its increased frequency has driven costs down. It has the additional benefit of a faster healing time and less scarring due to FUE not requiring the removal of a strip of tissue. Potential patients interested in either FUT or FUE are encouraged to contact a St. Louis hair restoration specialist and physician to find out more information.