FUT vs FUE: Which Is Best For Me?
There has been a recent surge in the demand for FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) Surgery at Aesthetic Scalp in Chicago, IL. This surge has been driven by the demand for lower downtime and less invasive procedures. The other driving factor is the ability to wear hair shorter and avoid a scar.
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure and who should get which procedure.
FUT has the advantage of viable hair grafts without transection. When harvesting a strip of hair, the hair is processed and the grafts are slivered into individual grafts. Since the bulbs or roots are visible, the grafts theoretically all should be viable. From personal experience, we find this to be an overstatement and the grafts along the edges may be transected as well as some grafts damaged in processing. However, obtaining a high success graft rate in the high 90s is very obtainable.
The disadvantage of FUE is the hair grafts being damaged during harvest. This is also known as a “transection.” With robotic FUE with ARTAS, we found the transection rate is limited to minimal grafts and success rate is also in the high 90s. With manual FUE, we found lower success rates usually around the 70s.
SCARRING An advantage of FUE over FUT is theoretically avoiding a scar. However, each hair site can sometimes be seen with a shaved head with a hypopigmentation mark. Also, the overall back of the head has the potential for being thinned, leaving a visible posterior scalp. The scar in FUT has been a major issue, however, when properly closed and in most patients, the scar can be imperceptible. For patients who wear their hair lower than a 2 guard, the scar can be more apparent.
NUMBER OF GRAFTS
Perhaps the biggest factor is the number of hair grafts. FUT allows for, at most, 5k grafts in one session. The FUE approach has a maximum number of grafts at 4K. The maximal amount of hair which can be harvested is a combination of FUT and FUE 6500 Max.