What to Expect from the Follicular Unit Transplantation Procedure

Follicular Unit Transplantation Procedure

Nov 24, 2014 — by Hadi Rassael
Tags: Hair Loss Hair Transplants

A man with a full head of hairIf you are looking to restore a full head of hair in the Washington DC area, our hair transplant office can provide treatment that is effective, minimally invasive, and precise. Namely, the follicular unit hair transplantation (FUT) procedure offers patients an excellent way to use their own natural hair to fix patches of baldness. By separating patches of healthy hair into individual follicular units, Dr. Rassael is able to replant them in the exact areas where they are most needed. Refer to the below information to learn more about this popular procedure and whether it may be right for you.

What Is FUT?

Generally, baldness does not occur universally over the head, but rather in select patches such as the top of the scalp and front hairline. Therefore, as long as there is still healthy, ample hair in other spots, a number of hair follicles can be moved to the balding area to create a fuller, more uniform hairline. The goal of FUT is to therefore take these hair follicles from the “donor area” - usually near the side or back of the head, which is less likely to bald - and transplant them discretely over the balding areas. Because baldness affects follicles individually, the transplanted hair is likely to remain healthy and thick.     

How Does the FUT Procedure Work?

First, the donor area of hair must be identified and assessed. Assuming there are enough healthy hair follicles for transplantation, the doctor will outline an area from which a thin strip of them will be removed. Because the surrounding hair is also healthy, this patch will be inconspicuously covered by nearby hair as it grows out.

After removal, the strip will be dissected into individual hair follicles, which contain anywhere from one to four hair strands each. This dissection is performed carefully in order to keep the units intact, and once separated, the follicles will be temporarily preserved in a holding solution to keep them healthy.    

While the follicles are preserved, tiny slits will be made in the recipient site of the patient’s scalp - one for each follicular unit. Each slit will be angled in a way that maintains the natural growth patterns of hair, ensuring that the transplanted hair looks perfectly natural. Once ready, the follicles will be placed in their respective spots and left to reattach in place. 

Benefits of FUT

FUT offers a variety of benefits to the right candidate, especially when compared to older, less advanced methods:

  • Discreet: Because the strip of hair removed is thin and located within a larger patch of healthy hair, the removed follicles will be unobservable to others.
  • Small incisions: The incisions used for the excision of hair, and particularly for its transplantation, are surprisingly small and quick to heal. The procedure needs only local anesthesia to prevent discomfort.
  • Precise placement: By separating the hair follicles and placing each one in its own predetermined location, the doctor has completely control over your new hairline. This is particularly effective when compared to older methods, which transplanted numerous follicles in bulky patches (i.e., hair plugs).
  • Preservation of hair: By keeping the follicles intact and taking numerous precautions to preserve them, we can ensure the greatest number of healthy follicles are transplanted and remain healthy for years to come.

Is FUT Right for You?

FUT can help many patients achieve a younger, more vibrant and attractive appearance, but first, their candidacy must be determined. Contact us to schedule an initial appointment with Dr. Rassael, where you can learn more about our transplantation methods and whether they are right for you.

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