Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) has been perfected at NHI Medical and is the Gold Standard for hair transplant procedures.
Follicular Unit Transplantation, or Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS), is a technique pioneered by the NHI Medical physicians in which your hair is transplanted from the permanent zone (in the back of your scalp) to your areas of concern. The FUT technique can be used for hair transplants, hairline lowering, eyebrow transplants, beard transplants, and scar revisions.
What is Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), or Strip surgery?
The FUT (Strip) surgery involves harvesting donor hair follicles with an incision in the back of your head. This incision scar is hidden or covered by your hair. If you prefer to wear your hair extremely short, you may consider the FUE harvesting method instead.
Under a high power stereo microscope, the donor hair follicles are dissected into individual hair follicles by our highly trained surgical team. This innovation is the key component in modern day hair transplant technology. The use of a stereo microscope prevents damage (transection) of the hair follicles. FUT harvesting has a lower percentage of transection as compared to a FUE harvesting.
Will I receive a scar from the Follicular Unit Transplant procedure?
FUT (Strip) harvesting leaves a linear scar on the back of your head. The FUE harvesting method leaves thousands of very small, round dot scars on the back of your head. For men and women with normal length hair, these scars will be hidden and inconsequential. For those who want to keep their hair very short (#2 guard or below) you may consider the FUE harvesting method to avoid the appearance of a line scar.
Will the FUT procedure give me the best results?
FUT is only a harvesting technique. Your results depend on how the hairs are placed more so than how the hairs are taken out. The skill of the surgeon relates to how the hairs are implanted. The implantation of the hair follicle is the same for both FUE and FUT (Strip) harvesting. Your surgeon’s artistic skill is what counts in designing your hairline. They will individually plan out where each hair follicle will be placed in the correct angle, direction, and distribution. This is what translates into your final results and what you will eventually see in the mirror.
Why would I want to bother with FUT (Strip) when there is the newer FUE method?
Both FUT and FUE have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you and your doctor to decide which harvesting method is right for you. FUT harvesting and stereo-microscopic dissection is still the Gold Standard in hair transplantation. FUT does not involve shaving the back of your head for the surgery, so no one should be able to tell if you had surgery even the next day. The best result is not about how to take out (harvest) the hair, but how your doctor artistically places the hair.
Is transection (damage) less likely with the FUT procedure?
Transection of a hair follicle is when the end portion of the follicle is cut or damaged. An experienced surgical staff using a stereo microscope can dissect your hair follicle with minimal damage or transection. FUT harvesting produces the least amount of damage to the hair follicles when compared to FUE harvesting.
Is FUE surgery faster than FUT surgery?
No, but the difference in speed can be negligible. Reports indicate FUE harvesting rates vary from 100 grafts/hour to as many as 1000+ grafts/hour. Dr. Jae Pak’s FUE harvest rate can be 1000+ grafts/hour, but he will be the first to tell you that the rate is highly dependent on each individual patient. It is important to note that each doctor or clinic handles FUE grafts differently. Some clinics do not perform quality control. At NHI Medical, we inspect each FUE harvest graft under a microscope and only implant the viable grafts.
The Pros and Cons of FUT and FUE Hair Transplant Procedures
No linear scar.
Post-operative pain is less than FUT.
You can wear your hair very short without worrying about a scar showing.
Healing time in the donor area can be less than FUT (but not always).
Moth-eaten, patchy, thin look to the back of your head when your hair is very short (thousands of dot scars).
More transection than FUT.
Slightly less growth rate compared to FUT (strip) due to transection.
Less total lifetime yield compared to FUT (strip).
Have to shave the back and sides of your head for surgery.
Usually costs more than FUT (strip).
FUT (Strip) Harvesting
Better growth rate than FUE.
Less transection or damage of hair follicles due to precise stereo-microscopic dissection.
You do not have to shave your head for the procedure.
Usually costs less than FUE.
Leaves a linear scar.
Cannot keep the back of your hair very short (#2 or #3 guard or fade with your razor is fine, but you will see a scar with a #1 guard).
Post-operative pain at night may be worse with FUT as compared to FUE (Pain is subjective and is experienced differently for many patients).
How do the surgeons' skills and techniques impact the rate of extraction and success in reducing damage to the grafts?
Some doctors maintain an impressive FUE technique with minimal hair damage and good extraction rates using manual instruments. Other doctors produce considerable hair damage in the FUE grafts. Reports indicate harvesting rates vary from 100 grafts per hour to as many as 1000+ grafts per hour. NHI Medical physicians’ rates often run in excess of 1000 grafts per hour.
FUT (Strip) harvesting rate is more consistent and relates to man power. A good surgical assistant can dissect and quality control 300 to 500 grafts/ hour. Three to four surgical assistants working as a team can easily surpass the typical FUE harvest rate. This is why it is important to have experienced staff working with your doctor.
Is the quality of the FUE graft different than that of the FUT graft?
Yes. FUE grafts look different as compared to FUT (Strip) grafts. FUE grafts are harvested by coring around a hair follicle and bluntly pulling out the graft. This can tear off the bottom tissue and cause some damage. This is not transection. This is just the nature of FUE harvesting. FUT (Strip) grafts are dissected under a microscope. At NHI Medical, your FUE grafts are quality controlled under a microscope and only FUT-equivalent grafts are used. We do not count or charge you for inferior (bad) FUE grafts.
Do I have to shave my hair before my FUT procedure?
You do not have to shave or cut your hair for the FUT (Strip) procedure. This makes returning to work and your social life much easier. The FUT (Strip) procedure can be much more discreet than FUE.
If I had an FUT (strip) procedure in the past, does my next hair transplant have to be an FUT as well?
When considering another hair transplant, you may choose to have the FUT or FUE. Depending on your goals and remaining density, our physicians will provide a recommendation during your consultation. If you choose to have the FUT procedure, our physicians can remove your old scar as the strip is removed, so there is only one new scar, or remove the strip immediately above or below the old scar.
Can the FUT strip scar be removed after surgery?
Old FUT scars can be removed and replaced with another FUT (Strip) surgery. Basically, you would end up with one scar after having two separate surgeries. The donor scar from an FUT procedure cannot be entirely removed, but it can be improved through a scar revision. Alternatively, we offer Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) to camouflage the scar.
Learn MoreFollicular Unit Excision (FUE) Scalp MicroPigmentation Hairline Lowering Eyebrow Transplant Beard Transplant
See why our doctors have the highest rated reviews. Meet with our former patients and see their results first hand at our Open House event.