Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is the current standard of care for Hair Transplantation in the United States, whereby individual hair follicles are transplanted from the donor area to the areas of balding. Those hair follicles are actually minute and highly specialized organs and we can transplant over 2000 of those in one session.
Hair grows naturally in bundles of 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs per bundle, on the average. These hairs, along with their associated structures are known as the Follicular Unit. Hair usually grows abundantly at the back and sides of the head as those hair follicles are not influenced by the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This horse-shoe shaped area is called the donor area.
During FUT the hair from the donor area of the scalp is removed in a strip. The donor area is closed with a fine suture. The strip in then dissected so that the hair follicles are identified, separated from each other with meticulous microscopic dissection, and then transplanted to the recipient area or areas of balding.
By meticulously dissecting and trimming the Follicular Units the doctor and the medical team ensure that the grafts are comprised of healthy intact hair follicles as they naturally occur in the scalp. The ultimate goal is to achieve natural looking results.
In simple words, there are 4 steps in Follicular Unit Transplantation:Step 1 – Graft Removal
- The donor area is anesthetized using local anaesthetic. Hair bearing tissue is removed painlessly form the back and/or sides of the scalp.
- The hair bearing tissue is divided into slivers approximately 1mm thick.
- The slivers are dissected using stereoscopic microscopes and/or loupes into Follicular Unit Grafts (FUG’s) containing 1,2, 3 and 4 hairs per graft, on the average.
- Tiny openings are made in the recipient area. The Follicular Unit Grafts are transplanted into these openings. Grafts containing 1 hair are placed in the frontal hairline. Grafts containing 2 or more hairs area placed behind the hairline as needed to achieve the desired density in those areas.
- Old techniques of Hair Transplantation used 4mm diameter cylinders of hair bundles which cut through the healthy hair and usually led to a ‘doll’s head’, ‘corn crow’ or ‘toothbrush’ effect. These old methods are now obsolete.
- Follicular Unit Transplantation is an excellent procedure to repair the ‘dolls head’ effect of old punch graft techniques.
- It is important to note that Follicular Unit Transplantation does not create new hair but re-distributes existing healthy hair from the back and sides of your scalp to the thinning or bald areas. This hair grows naturally and for life, as it was programmed to grow in the donor area.
Common Questions about FUT
What can I expect from the procedure?
The procedure typically lasts 3-8 hours, depending on the case and the extensiveness of the transplant. You will receive a local anesthetic in both the donor and recipient areas. The amount of discomfort during the procedure is minimal – in fact, many patients even rate the small pinch of dental block higher on the pain index.
You will be fully awake during the procedure and can pass your time watching TV, listening to the radio, or engaging in light conversation. Of course, you are also welcome to take a relaxing nap and get up to eat or go to the bathroom, if needed. You will have a dressing in the surgical area to keep it protected, and the doctor will walk you through all post-operative instructions. Please arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home, as you will b given medications that, while safe, may impair your ability to drive. As a matter of course – and because we value your company so much – we generally arrange for a brief check-up after a couple of days spent healing.
What is the downtime after a hair transplant procedure?
You should not drive or operate machinery for 24 hours after the procedure. As a general rule, one should also avoid exercising or engaging in strenuous activities for 5 days. FUE patients may go back to work in 1-3 days, while FUT patients should wait 2-6 days. Please note that these are only general guidelines. Every person heals at a different pace, and some occupations demand more physical activity than others. After the first 1-2 postoperative days, most patients find that they no longer require pain medications.
- At the Beginning i was very very nervous, but when i called the secretary told me Dr. Luciano will answer all my questions! Sure he did, when i get to the consult he is very professional answer every single question i have and went straight to what i needed! 5 days post-op feeling amazing. Thank you Dr.Luciano and staff for all your kindness!! And professionalism.
- Dr. Luciano and his staff are caring and on point! Both offices that I attended were very clean, and organized. Dr. Luciano definitely looks after his patients as he would a member of his own family. Which is really important to me! It's why I chose this office and why I would happily go back there again. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
- Dr Luciano was great! The procedure was very well explained in detail, I am now 4 weeks post op tummy tuck and lipo and feel wonderful ! The staff is super helpful and so friendly too. My tummy looks awesome now and I can’t wait for final results in a couple months . A+!!!