What is Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a procedure in which a dermatological surgeon moves hair to a bald area of the head. The surgeon usually moves hair from the back or side of the head to the front or top of the head. Hair transplants typically occur in a medical office under local anesthesia.
According to the aggarwal's clinic, pattern baldness is responsible for the majority of hair loss. This comes down to genetics. The remaining cases are due to a variety of factors, including:
- Hormonal Imbalance
Types of Hair Transplant
- Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUT)
- Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)
The FUT process involves removing a small strip of tissue from the back of the head, from which the donor hair follicles will be extracted. The hair follicles are harvested from the strip by a skilled clinical team before being individually transplanted to the recipient areas. In most cases, and especially cases of advanced hair loss, FUT is the preferred method because it allows the physician to fully utilize the scalp area to deliver results consistent with patient expectations. FUT typically allows for the greatest number of grafts to be transplanted in a single session.
There are two surgical techniques in which hair can be removed from a patient’s scalp – Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The way that grafts are transplanted back into a patient’s scalp following their removal is the same with both techniques. It is how the hairs are removed that is different. In the case of the FUE technique each hair graft is removed from the donor region one by one using a punch tool. Both the FUT and FUE technique form scars – FUT forms one linear scar whereas FUE forms multiple circular scars spread across a large area.
What happens in a FUE hair transplant?
When undergoing a FUE procedure, the entire scalp must usually be shaved in advance. As the FUE technique only allows a surgeon to take every second hair graft from the donor zone, the yield of grafts from the area is lower. Many clinics are forced to go outside of this zone which means these transplanted hairs will become thin and may be lost as a patient becomes older. It can also result in circular scars in the donor region becoming visible over time. The survival rate of grafts in an FUE technique is lower than it is with FUT as the accuracy of the punch tool is lower than that of a technician using a microscope.
Benefits of FUE
There are, however, some instances where the FUE technique may be suitable. Patients who like to wear their hair very short may choose this method as the resultant scars can be less noticeable and more spread out. The FUE method is also useful when only a small area of hair needs to be transplanted, such as in the repair of scars or eyebrow transplants.