Everyone has a permanent area of hair existing on the sides and back of the head. This region, known as the “donor” area or site, is immune to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and thus unaffected by hair loss caused by Androgenetic Alopecia.
Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Transplantation, is an intricate surgical procedure in which HRBR is an expert. A thin strip of skin containing the permanent hair is removed from the donor area. This hair-bearing skin is then dissected and the resulting grafts, known as follicular units, are then inserted into the thinning or balding areas of the scalp.
FUT at HRBR
At Hair Restoration Blackrock (HRBR), we set the world class standard in FUT due to the way we approach the procedure, which ensures that we consistently carry out superb quality work.
Using the FUT procedure donor hair is surgically removed in a thin strip and the hair follicles on the strip are dissected by highly skilled technicians. The resulting incision can be stitched together again, usually creating a fine, hard to detect scar which is covered by existing hair, even if it is short.
The resulting grafts are known as follicular units. Excess tissue attached to the graft is removed, as failure to do this can result in pitting and/or tenting of the skin, which can lead to an unnatural looking hair transplant. The grafts are then carefully inserted in minuscule surgical sites made in the thinning or balding (recipient) areas of the scalp. The size, shape and angle of these insertions are key to how the hair transplant will finally look.
About FUT Hair Grafts
At HRBR, we treat a hair transplant like any other organ transplant in that hair transplant grafts are effectively “living organs”. Therefore, the time they spend outside of the body must be kept to a minimum to ensure not only graft survival but also natural hair growth after transplantation.
We achieve this in two ways, firstly, by taking the donor strip in two separate procedures on the same day, which ensures the viability of the grafts by decreasing the time out of the scalp.
Secondly, our transplant team consists of a total of 24 people made up of qualified hair restoration surgeons, nurses and technicians, who are rotated approximately every 30 minutes to ensure that the grafts are handled with extreme care and transplanted back into the patient in the most effective and time efficient manner. Refreshing the team in this way prevents fatigue which could potentially result in damage to the grafts during the transplant process.
This is key because of the limited supply of hair in the donor region which means that every single hair graft is precious and must be protected. By looking after our technical staff and continuously training them, we not only exceed international best practice standards but also ensure the viability of the donor grafts.
The stereomicroscopes that we use at HRBR are widely accepted as the gold standard in hair transplantation as they can yield 20% more grafts from the donor strip than with other methods. This equipment is expensive and demands more skill and manpower, which is possibly why they are only found in a select number of hair restoration clinics across the globe.
FUT or FUE?
Both FUE and the HRBR FUT techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, some of which are listed below for ease of reading;
- For patients undergoing an FUE procedure usually the entire scalp must be shaved in advance of their procedure, for those undergoing an FUT procedure only the area of hair to be removed is trimmed.
- In an FUE procedure the graft yield is lower than with FUT which means you get less donor hair for transplantation. This is because it is not possible to harvest as much hair.
- In an FUE procedure the growth rate of the grafts is often lower as the accuracy of the punch tool used is not as good as a skilled technician using a microscope.
- A stitch is required in an FUT procedure; in an FUE procedure no stitches are needed.
- For patients that like to wear their hair very short FUE may be the preferable option as the scars resulting from the FUE procedure may be less noticeable in very short hair as they are more spread out.
- Should a patient decide to return for a 2nd or 3rd hair transplant procedure with the FUT technique a skilled surgeon can remove the scar from the patient’s previous surgery however with the FUE technique this is not possible and new scars will always be created with subsequent surgeries.
Before any patient makes a decision as to what techniques they wish to choose, a consultation with a properly qualified consultant surgeon is essential.
If you would like to find out more about FUT hair transplants and the hair loss treatment options at HRBR, the first step is to arrange a consultation with one of our doctors. Contact us now.