FUE vs FUT
There are several hair transplant techniques that are currently widely used around the world. The two most popular processes are known as FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) and FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant). Each method has its pros and cons.
Let’s start with the negatives first so we can end on a good note.
FUT, or Follicular Unit Transplant (CONS)
When this hair transplantation technique is used, a surgeon removes a significant section of scalp from the back of the patient’s head where hair is growing well. This incision is quite large and leaves a gaping hole that then must be sutured closed.
The skin on the scalp is rather tight to begin with, and after removing a section of scalp, it can be difficult to stitch back together. The incision leaves a visible scar all the way across the back of the head. For many people and surgeons, this is not enough reason to stop using this technique, especially if the patient prefers a longer hair style that may conceal the scar.
However, the incision and sutures associated with the FUT method are extremely painful and take a long time to heal, leaving the patient with huge restrictions for a significant amount of time. This interferes with the patient’s life, job, family, and is therefore a major deterrent for choosing the FUT method.
On the flipside, utilizing this method means that the surgeon will have access to hairs only in the area where they are growing the best. Rarely are any hairs used that would have eventually been lost to the natural balding process, so the quality of hair grafts using the FUT method is high.
FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction (CONS)
The number one negative factor regarding the FUE method has to do with the fact that hair is harvested from the entire scalp – not just the back middle area like in FUT surgeries. Because of this, it’s possible that the surgeon may harvest some hairs from a region that will lose hair in the future. This means that those donor hairs can and will fall out even after they’ve been transplanted. Additionally, since hairs are harvested one by one, this technique makes for a longer procedure time.
FUE (PROS) The best part about using the Follicular Unit Extraction technique is that there is much reduced pain, scarring and healing time as opposed to the FUT technique. Being able to get up and go with very few limits soon after a hair transplant is very attractive to many patients who lead busy lives. Because each incision made is so tiny, the residual pain is also quite small.
All of these pros and cons combined have led many surgeons to favor using the less invasive FUE method rather than the FUT method.