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FUT Hair Transplant

Why is it demanded?

FUT Hair Transplant (‘Follicular Unit Transplantation’) was once among the most widely-used hair transplant methods in its day. However, in the last fifteen years, and particularly in Turkey, it has lost considerable ground to FUE and DHI, both of which tend to provide a better and more comfortable experience for patients.

The FUT method continues to have some advantages, and as such it remains one of the select number of treatments which SHIFT provides. However, most patients now prefer more contemporary hair transplant methods.

Hair Transplant with FUT Technique Animated explainer.

FUT Hair Transplant Steps.

What does FUT involve?

FUT involves extracting a strip of hair-bearing tissue from the patient’s donor area before subdividing this into individual grafts that are implanted into the patient’s recipient area. The scalp is then closed using stitches that are removed in the days following the operation. The extraction of a complete strip of tissue constitutes the main difference between the FUT method and the FUE and DHI methods, both of which involve the individual harvesting of donor grafts.

Compared with these other, more modern, transplant techniques, FUT involves a more intensive operation which requires a higher level of intervention and has a longer postoperative recovery period. It is also more expensive than other treatment methods.

What are the advantages of FUT?

In Turkey, the FUT method has long been considered outdated, and a less favourable treatment option for most patients. However, there are still certain advantages that patients may wish to consider. Firstly, with an FUT operation it is not always necessary to shave the patient’s donor or recipient area. Secondly, the overall survival rate of the grafts is slightly higher with FUT than with the FUE or DHI methods.

Despite this, most hair transplant experts believe that these considerations are offset by the drawbacks of the FUT method.

What are the drawbacks of FUT?

The drawbacks of FUT are quite considerable, which is why the technique is not commonly used in Turkey today. Perhaps most importantly, the FUT operation results in a visible linear scar, meaning that patients generally have to wear their hair longer after the operation. This is one of the most significant disadvantages when compared with FUE and DHI, which cause relatively minimal scarring. Another important point is that with FUT it is only possible to work with a small number of grafts, as a relatively limited strip of tissue must be taken in order to safeguard the comfort of the patient.

In the same spirit of avoiding undue scalp damage, it is also not advisable to conduct more than one FUT operation on the same patient. This is another disadvantage compared with FUE, which allows for a higher number of grafts to be transplanted and makes it possible to perform multiple sessions on patients with relatively large balding areas.

Other considerations include the fact that the FUT operation is harder on the patient than other methods, and the postoperative recovery period is longer. There are also more pre- and postoperative precautions to observe with FUT, such as massaging the scalp area. The more intense nature and the greater involvement of the doctor and his larger team of trichologists in FUT operations also mean that the cost is higher, as does the fact that the treatment is so rarely performed in Turkey now.

A doctor showing the FUT scar on the back of a patient's head.

Fresh scar after FUT Hair Transplant Surgery.

FUT in Turkey and abroad

FUT continues to be a widely-known treatment method, and it is still quite prevalent in countries with a higher level of regulation because it takes longer for new techniques to be approved in such places, often leading to a reluctance to adopt new approaches. However, Turkey is a global innovator in the hair transplant industry, meaning that there is already considerable expertise in methods that are still in their infancy in Europe.

FUE in particular has been widely practised throughout Turkey since 2004, in addition to other more recent treatment methods that are less readily available abroad. This means that international patients arriving in Turkey can be confident in having the widest range of treatment options available to them, making for a better and more comfortable experience, and ensuring the very best possible results.

FUT at SHIFT

The quality of personalised patient care is what sets SHIFT apart, and SHIFT will always work in partnership with the patient to create a tailored plan of treatment which will yield the best results.

Although SHIFT is able to provide the FUT procedure, we normally advise patients to choose another, more contemporary treatment method in order to be confident in achieving the best aesthetic results in the most comfortable conditions with the shortest recovery time.

 

References: 
ISHRS 2015, Comparison Between Strip Harvesting & FUE – Part 1, ISHRS, accessed 10 May 2019