The Perfection of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) in Hair Restoration

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Research on Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or strip harvesting in hair transplantation underlines its established role in providing natural and high-quality grafts with a minimally visible scar when performed skillfully. Here's a synthesis of the key findings:

  • Efficiency and Outcomes: FUT, also known as strip harvesting, is a technique where a strip of scalp is excised from the donor area, and follicular units are meticulously dissected under magnification. This method allows for a high volume of grafts to be harvested with minimal follicular transection, typically less than 2%. The resulting linear scar, when properly managed, can be almost invisible in the majority of cases (Pathomvanich, 2018).

  • Indications and Contraindications: FUT is indicated for patients who require a large number of grafts in a single session, benefiting from its efficient harvest method. The technique's contraindications include patients with insufficient scalp elasticity or those who prefer to wear their hair very short, as the linear scar might be a concern. The technique is praised for its ability to maximize follicular unit harvest while minimizing hair follicle transection (Khanna, 2021).

  • Follicular Transection Rates: FUT demonstrates lower transection rates compared to follicular unit extraction (FUE), with FUT surgery typically showing transection rates ranging from 1 to 1.9%. Factors such as hair follicle length and donor density can influence transection rates. Reducing transections ensures a greater number of viable grafts for transplantation (Tan, 2018).Hybrid Techniques: Combining FUT with FUE, known as hybrid harvesting, allows for maximizing the number of follicles harvested in one session while preserving an untouched area for possible future transplants. This approach is particularly beneficial in patients with advanced baldness, aiming for larger coverage or higher density (Basto, 2017).

  • Comparative Outcomes with FUE: Although FUT results in a linear scar, advancements in surgical techniques have minimized its visibility, making it a less significant concern for many patients. Both FUT and FUE are effective in generating high-quality grafts, but distinct patient eligibility and preferences may guide the choice between these methods. The decision should be made after a thorough consultation, weighing the benefits and limitations of each technique (Gupta, Love, & Harris, 2020).

In conclusion, FUT remains a cornerstone in hair transplantation, offering an efficient way to obtain a high volume of grafts with a single, minimally visible scar. The technique's evolution and the possibility of combining it with FUE cater to a broad spectrum of patient needs, reinforcing its value in the field of hair restoration.