A procedure where hair is transplanted from the permanent zone to the bald or balding areas of the scalp.
The permanent zone is known as the area in the back and sides of the scalp where hair is more resistant to balding. This is accomplished using naturally-occurring groups of 1,2,3 or 4 hairs, called follicular units. After the patient’s scalp is anesthetized, the doctor removes a strip of tissue from the donor area which is an area within the permanent zone. Once the tissue is extracted, the donor strip is cut into many individual follicular units using microscopic dissection techniques. As these follicular unit grafts are being prepared, the doctor makes tiny holes in the scalp, called recipient sites, where the grafts are placed.
The aesthetic qualities of a hair transplant are determined by the arrangement and positioning of the follicular unit grafts. Depending on the patients’ history of hair loss, the decision on how to arrange the grafts is made on a case-by-case basis. Follicular unit transplants replicate the way hair grows in nature resulting in a completely natural look and feel that is undetectable from one’s original hair.
The difference between FUE and FUT is the method by which follicular units are removed from the donor area in the back and sides of the scalp. The remainder of the procedure is essentially the same.
Follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp in FUE whereas follicles are microscopically dissected from a strip that has already been removed in FUT.
The harvesting method does have important implications for the hair restoration procedure as it will affect the total number of high quality grafts that can be harvested from the donor area and, ultimately, the fullness achieved from the hair transplant.