FUT is one of the two hair transplant surgery options available if you’re in the midst of losing your hair and are open to taking the surgical route to address the problem. FUT stands for ‘Follicular Unit Transplantation’, and is the process whereby a strip containing multiple hair follicles is extracted (usually from the back of the head of neck area) and transplanted to a different area. There are lots of questions people will have when starting out with this process, so here’s the answers to five of the most commonly asked questions.
1. How long will FUT last?
If the transplant is successful and the strip takes to the new site, FUT can be a permanent solution. The donor site (the back of the head or neck) is recognised as being some of the most tenacious hair on the body, so will continue growing throughout your life. The main thing to be aware of is that although the strip (or strips) will continue growing, it does not mean that hair loss from other follicles won’t continue, so there may be need for further treatments to address continued hair fall from other areas.
2. Will the process leave scars from the donor area?
The surgeons who conduct these operations should be very skilled in the art of transplantation, so you should not expect to have any scarring in the transplantation site. The donor site however, will have a very small, thin scar where the tissues have been extracted from. This is usually something that can be covered by your remaining hair and will fade over time. Reading reviews of different surgeons before committing to one is advised, as you will get firsthand accounts of the aesthetic abilities of the surgeon for both the donor and the transplant areas from others who have undergone similar treatments.
3. Is this type of treatment expensive?
Although the cost of any surgical procedure like this may sound a lot to pay, it is worth considering the longer term benefits. Given the expected longevity of FUT operations, you can expect that the need for supplementary treatments and cosmetic enhancements to hair will reduce or cease completely, leaving you with less on-going costs. It is a case of weighing up the financial pros and cons and thinking of the longer term picture.
4. Will the procedure hurt?
The operation itself is conducted under a local anaesthetic, which means that the scalp is numbed during the whole process. The anaesthetic is administered with a syringe, so there will be slight discomfort as this is being injected, but this will quickly be masked as the anaesthetic kicks in. Once the operation is completed there may be some tenderness and pain around the donor and the transplant areas, which is natural. You may be prescribed pain killers to mitigate this, but see your doctor again if you have any concerns about the level of discomfort you are experiencing in the days after the operation.
5. Will it look like my normal hair?
FUT surgeons are skilled in their trade and will do everything possible to ensure that the transplant site looks as blended and as natural as possible. Some people are delighted with their first operation; others require further work over time if hair fall continues around the transplant site. There is another method of hair transplantation called FUE, Follicle Unit Extraction, which works by transporting individual follicles, rather than a strip, which generally offers a step up in terms of the natural results achieved. In addition to this, there is no scarring at the donor site owing to the tiny incisions required. The advice of whether to go down the route of FUT or FUE differs for different people, and should be discussed at length with your surgeon to find the best fit for your unique situation.