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Are FUE Hair Transplant Scars Noticeable?

1/25/2010 1:40:30 PM

Question:

Which hair transplant procedure produces a smaller scar - FUT or FUE?

Answer:

Follicular Unit Excision (formerly known as Follicular Unit Extraction) (FUE) has greater potential for patients to wear their hair at extremely short lengths without showing visible signs of scarring. This is due to the type of scarring it produces. Visible signs of scarring with FUE are dependent on the extraction tool used, a hair transplant patient's physiological healing factors, their donor hair density, and the number of grafts taken from a single area of the scalp. Typically, extracting more than 20% to 30% of the hairs in a single area can produce visible signs of scarring.

Follicular unit hair transplantation (FUT) or strip surgery scarring produces a linear scar that extends approximately from ear to ear. With today's advanced scar closure techniques, it's typically pencil thin. Since the new trichophytic closure technique allows your own natural hair to grow through the scar, in many cases, the strip scar is virtually undetectable even when hair is cropped at extremely short lengths. That said, not every scar is "perfect" and risks of scar stretching do exist.

In my opinion, FUE is typically better for patients who probably won't ever require more than a couple thousand grafts. Because FUE also places extra forces on the already fragile follicular units during hair restoration surgery, it must be done slowly, carefully, and meticulously. Most reputable hair transplant physicians will still tell you that today on the average, that hair growth yield with follicular unit excision is far less consistent than strip.

With the above in mind, in addition to the failures I've seen, I've seen some beautiful, natural looking results with FUE. But to this day, the most impressive hair restoration transformations are coming from state of the art FUT/strip procedures. FUE in my opinion, while it’s a viable option for some, still has a long way to go.

Bill Seemiller - Managing Publisher

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