FUT or follicular unit transplant is also known as strip surgery. This is one of the most commonly used procedures for hair transplant and is the ideal choice for people, who have a small area that has gone bald and does not want to shave their hair. In this procedure, the hair bearing skin is removed by using a scalpel from the back of a person’s head and the gap at the back of the person’s head is sutured together. The strip then gets divided in grafts consisting of one or two follicles and then implanted in the same way as FUE.
FUT Hair Transplant Procedure
We read a lot of things on FUT & FUE on internet but when it comes to the procedure, there are a rare few who are truly aware of what happens during the procedure.
In FUT, an entire strip of hair is removed from the scalp’s donor area and then the dissection takes place under a microscope. The area from where the strip is taken is stitched carefully, which leaves a linear scar on the scalp. Dr. Özlem Biçer will apply aesthetic stitches as well, that means that the scar will be very thin and discreet. The intention of a follicular unit transplantation is to take hair from a donor area, and transplant it into the area where the balding is most pronounced. Normally, small follicular units are harvested, and each unit contains anywhere between a single to four hairs.
FUT Hair Transplant Steps
Generally, on the day of surgery, you are asked to come a few hours before the surgery is schedule.This time will allow the staff to guide you through all that will happen and also complete the requisite paperwork including the informed consent form. This is also the last time to talk to your FUT surgeon and clear all your doubts. The surgeon will demarcate the area, in accordance to the prior consultations, including drawing the exact hairline. These markings will be the final ones.
You will be administered a local anesthesia to ensure that you are comfortable. Just in the first 5 minutes you will feel a little bit burning under your skin because of the anesthesia. After that you will not feel any pain or discomfort during or after the surgery.
The doctor will make long vertical incisions to remove the strip of scalp with the hair grafts, which will be used for your hair transplant. The exact location of the donor area has to be chosen very carefully, because this has to be the area where the hair density is maximum, as only this can ensure long term stability of the transplanted hair. Özlem Bicer MD uses trichophytic closure to have a fine scar
Storage of Donor Tissue
As soon as the strip of hair is removed, it is placed in your PRP, which minimizes the body’s natural fluids and gives time to close the wound created by the strip removal.
Slivering & Dissection
The harvested strip is now divided into single layer of hair follicular units called the Slivers.
Each sliver is then trimmed for any extra tissue. The grafts are then separated individually which will be finally implanted in the bald area.
Creation of the Recipient Sites
The creation of the recipient site has to be done with precision, because this will decide the complete look. Fine blades are used to create the site and then the angle of hair is decided. A good surgeon will ensure that the sites are created in a way that the final look is completely natural. Özlem Bicer MD uses custom blades as per size of graft.
Implantation & end of Surgery
After the sites have been created the grafts will be transplanted into holes made by the surgeon.
At the end of the procedure, each of the grafts will be checked again and you will be told about the post op schedule. You will also be given a printed copy of the same, so that you can follow all the instructions. Your donor area will be covered with bandage and you will be able to wear a bandana or cap to provide further protection.
Important facts about FUT Hair Transplant
Given that a strip of the scalp is removed, there will be an exposed strip of skin on your head. This will have to be stitched together, and over time, the same will heal, but a scar will be left behind. In most cases, there will be a linear scar, which in the hands of a good doctor will not be visible after a while. This will happen because the new hair will be transplanted in such a manner that when they grow to a certain length, the scar will be hidden beneath it.
FUT is still more prevalent due to the advantages it offers. The scar in most people remains hidden as more than 75% of people do not shave of head ever. And then there are many ways to cover it.