Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation (FUT)
the "Gold Standard".
The 90's saw the gradual introduction of a very refined surgical procedure now known as "follicular unit hair transplantation" or "FUT". This exacting and labor intensive procedure transplants hairs in their naturally occurring one, two, three, and four hair "follicular unit groupings" in which they grow naturally.
To create such natural follicular unit grafts, which mimic the way hair grows naturally, typically requires the use of high powered magnification. Such magnification enables the surgical technicians to properly visualize the follicular units in the donor tissue. They are then able to isolate them and cut them into 1, 2, 3, and some times 4 hair follicular unit grafts.
The concept of creating the entire hair restoration using exclusively follicular units was proposed by Dr. Robert Bernstein and was described in the 1995 Bernstein and Rassman publication "Follicular Transplantation." Critical to the success of the follicular unit hair transplant procedure was the introduction of the binocular microscope by Dr. Bobby Limmer of San Antonio Texas in the late 1980's. Dr. Limmer found that by using the microscope to examine the donor tissue he and his staff were able to successfully isolate and trim the naturally occurring follicular units into individual grafts. Dr. Limmer shared his techniques and findings with his collogues and together with Drs. Bernstein, Rassman and Seager, was a persuasive advocate for the follicular unit hair transplant procedure.
Over time the merits of this refined, but difficult to perform, procedure became accepted and the follicular unit hair transplant procedure has become acknowledged by most hair restoration physicians to be the "Gold Standard" for surgical hair restoration.
Some feel that hair restoration surgery has evolved to its highest degree now that it relocates hair exactly as it grows naturally. However, even the "Gold Standard" in hair transplantation has continued to evolve by becoming even more "ultra refined".
Today some leading hair restoration surgeons, including all members of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians, perform an ultra refined follicular unit hair transplant procedure using very tiny incisions that enable them to safely "dense pack" tiny grafts when appropriate. This ultra refined follicular unit procedure enables patients to achieve cosmetic density in a given area after only one surgical session.
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