The Difference between
"FUT" and "FUE"
Strip Excision vs Individual Unit Extraction
There are only two methods to surgically extract follicular grafts from the scalp: F.U.E and F.U.T.
F.U.T. is a general term that means Follicular Unit Transplant. While imprecise, the term is commonly used to describe a technique whereby a strip of scalp is excised from the permanent donor area of the scalp.The wound is closed using small surgical staples. The excised strip is converted to follicular units in a two stage steriomicroscopic dissection process.
F.U.E. is a method that utilizes a very fine manual or motorized punch to individually harvest follicular units from the intact scalp. This technique completely eliminates the use of scalpel from the procedure.
The Donor Zone
The donor zone – these hairs are genetically resistant to hair loss. In FUE, the zone is larger to accommodate individual extractions. In FUT, scalp laxity plays a role in how much hair can be extracted.
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FUT Method (Strip Extraction)
In Strip Excision, donor hair is harvested by excising a narrow strip of scalp from the donor area. Your surgeon will carefully measure the area at the donor site to excise the correct number of grafts as required, while ensuring extremely thin scar, typically no wider than a pencil line. This method has a lower incidence of graft transection because the removed strip can be processed under a brightly-lit, high-powered microscope which allows us to see exactly where the hair is growing under the skin. This clear view allows us to precisely position the scalpel to ensure the integrity of each graft is maintained.
Patients are concerned that strip excision leaves a thin scar where the strip was removed. If the resulting scar is visible, it is easily obscured by short hair growth, and the placement of the scar makes it unnoticeable for most patients. The Trychophytic closure technique allows the incision to heal tightly and with little to no noticeable scarring.
FUE Method (Punch Extraction)
Human hairs grown in natural groupings of one to four hairs. In FUE, individual groupings (graft units) are extracted using a surgical punch-tool. The punch tool is positioned over the hair where it emerges from the scalp, then aligned with the direction of the hair growth and inserted, creating a round incision. Whether the incision was created manually or by robotic assistance, the graft unit it extracted by hand.
This method is somewhat challenging because it is difficult to see the graft through the scalp, which makes it tricky to align and position the punch tool and to judge the depth required to excise the graft. The robotic tool uses infra-red light to map out suitable grafts and to precisely position the punch in alignment with the grafts growth vector. When FUE is performed manually, tools with smaller punch diameters can be used so that each graft unit can be more precisely matched. With either method, some transection is expected to occur when the punch cuts through the follicle under the skin. The incidence of transection is higher using FUE than using FUT.