FUE vs. FUT – What’s the Difference?
Deciding between an FUE or an FUT procedure is important and can vary according to the individual needs of a hair restoration patient. Both procedures have their advantages and disadvantages, which makes one or the other appropriate in specific circumstances.
What are FUE and FUT?
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is also referred to as the “strip” procedure. A long, thin sliver of tissue removed from the donor area in the back and sides of the scalp. Individual follicular units are removed from that strip through stereo-microscopic dissection. The wound edges are closed leaving a single, generally fine linear scar.
In Follicular Unit Excision (FUE), hair is harvested through small circular incisions over a considerably larger area of the donor area leaving tiny, round, white scars. FUE procedures have grown increasingly popular due to the development of new technology to assist process, such as the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System.
However, FUT or “Strip” procedures still provide excellent results and are preferred by some. For best results, consult a hair restoration specialist like Dr. Baiju Gohil to evaluate which procedure will create the best outcome for your lifestyle and type of hair loss.
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
- Surgical procedure
- Hair follicular units harvested from strip of skin
- Temporary restriction of certain activities
- Fine, linear scar that may be visible in shorter hairstyles
- Better if subsequent procedures are needed
- Low risk of harvesting non-permanent hair
vs. Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Follicular units are harvested individually from donor areas on the back and sides of the head
- Quicker return to typical activities
- Minimal scarring with no visible linear scar
- Less discomfort
- Can harvest fine hair and body hair
Advantages of Each Hair Transplant Method
The main advantage of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is that it typically, but not always, gives the highest yield of hair. FUT should be considered when an individual patient’s primary goal is achieving maximum coverage from the hair restoration in one session.
With Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) the main advantages are a faster healing time and the fact that it doesn’t involve a linear donor scar. If the patient’s primary goal is to be able to wear their hair very short or return quickly to strenuous activity, FUE is the ideal choice.
Can You Have Both FUT and FUE?
Yes, it’s possible to have both FUT and FUE procedures. FUT may be used first to maximize the yield of the initial procedure(s). However, if subsequent sessions are required, the scalp could become too tight to perform further FUT procedures or the donor scar could become wider than anticipated. FUE may then be the best option for any follow-up procedures.
Should I See An FUT or FUE Specialist?
Both FUT and FUE are excellent techniques with different clinical indications. For the best, customized results for the patient’s specific needs, a hair restoration physician should have expertise in both FUE and FUT procedures… and both procedures should be offered in the practice.
FUT vs. FUE Donor Hair
The proportion of follicular units harvested from the donor zone also differs between the two procedures.
Certain portions of your head produce better donor hair which is more resistant to balding than other regions. The follicular units at the outer edges of your donor area are more likely to thin or be lost over time due to balding. The mid-portion of the donor area produce more resistant hair.
In Follicular Unit Transplant, the donor strip comes from the mid-portion of the permanent zone. Follicular Unit Excision harvests from a much broader area to gain a sufficient amount of grafts.
Scarring is another key difference between the FUT and FUE procedures.
In FUT, the strip is harvested, and the wound edges are then sewn or stapled closed – which leaves behind a single, generally fine scar. Most hair styles will cover this scar, though it could show through very short hair cuts.
In the case of a second FUT procedure, the initial scar is typically removed along with the new donor strip. That means a person will usually only have one donor scar even if they have had multiple FUT procedures.
The FUE process creates tiny scars like dots, which are difficult to see. This makes FUE very popular with people who prefer very short hairstyles. However, if a second or third FUE procedure is required, the new dot scars are added to those from the initial procedure. This can distort nearby follicular units and make subsequent sessions more difficult and limiting donor supply for FUE.
RHRLI Are the Hair Restoration Experts
Our surgeon, Dr. Baiju Gohil, is an expert in surgical hair restoration – using both the FUT and FUE processes. For FUE, we typically use the ARTAS® Robot to provided advanced precision. Dr. Gohil will examine your type of hair loss and make a recommendation based on your specific hair loss needs to create a natural-looking result. RHRLI delivers great results and better client satisfaction.
Ready to Learn More?
If you are considering a hair restoration procedure or want to learn more about the difference between FUE and FUT procedures, call us at (516) 218-1876 or fill out the contact form and we will get back to you quickly.