What is today's gold standard of hair transplant technique and how does it differ from older techniques like minigrafts or micrografts?
Today ultra refined follicular unit transplantation is the new gold standard in surgical hair restoration. Follicular units are hair groupings as they occur naturally in groups of 1 2 3, and sometimes 4 hairs. Physicians that continue to improve their surgical technique are now using minimally invasive tools to create tiny incisions and cut follicular units to fit perfectly and snugly into these slits. This gives surgeons the ability to dense pack even more hairs close together when appropriate for the patient without sacrificing hair growth yield.
Micrografts and minigrafts are not the same thing. Micrografts are any one or two haired graft and are still used today. Some even use the term "micrograft" as a synonym to "follicular unit", though we continue to encourage all physicians to use current and proper terminology so as not to confuse patients. Technically, the terms are not interchangeable.
Minigrafts are typically larger grafts containing follicular unit groupings up to 6+ hairs. However, a one haired follicular unit combined with a 2 haired follicular unit is also a minigraft, but looks very similar to a 3 haired follicular unit. Today, some surgeons will use some "refined" minigrafts since they believe when used properly, it can help aid the illusion of density without sacrificing naturalness. These "refined" minigrafts are often referred to as multi follicular unit (MFU) or multi unit graft (MUG). There are varying schools of thought on this, but doctors who use MUGs on occasion still use mostly follicular units since they are the most natural in appearance. Doctors still using exclusive old school minigrafts are outdated in their technique.
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