Hair transplants used to be taboo and never spoken about in public, but thanks to celebrity endorsements and innovative techniques, and refinements over the years, the industry has grown tremendously. There are two surgical methods used to remove the hair from the donor area (back and sides) of the scalp, and a few techniques used to implant the follicular unit grafts into the balding areas. In this article, we will be going over some of these techniques, and discussing the pros and cons, and hopefully, you can find out which method would be best suited for you.
Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) Pros and Cons
First, let's discuss the older method of extraction, which is called FUSS or strip surgery. Strip surgery works by removing a strip of hair-bearing tissue from the donor area. Technicians dissect the tissue into follicular units. These follicular unit grafts contain one (1), two (2), three (3), and four (4) hairs per unit.
A pro for having strip surgery is the fact that surgeons can remove an extensive strip tissue, which contains thousands of hair without any real visible difference in the donor area. In general, strip surgery is an efficient method of extracting the grafts, and the follicular unit grafts are healthy and robust. Due to the nature of the procedure, technicians can dissect the grafts with more fatty tissue, which improves the overall survival of the graft.
However, the biggest con with undergoing the strip method is the linear scar that will span from ear to ear. Unfortunately, the scarring deters many patients from undergoing the strip procedure. In recent years, there has been a lot of hype and misinformation on the internet, which depicts the strip method as old and outdated- which is not valid.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Pros and Cons
FUE is a relatively new method of extraction, which has been around since 2001 in modern form. Surgeons perform FUE by removing individual follicular units one by one with the use of a small surgical punch. The surgical tool can range from 0.7 to 1mm in circumference. The FUE method of extraction is a lot more tedious, and the grafts are more fragile than the traditional strip method.
The biggest pro for choosing FUE is the scarring. The scars are tiny dots scattered across the back and sides of the scalp. A minimal amount of hair growth can conceal these small scars. There is a misconception going around the internet, the notion that FUE is scarless is false. FUE does create scarring, but the scarring is not easily visible to the naked eye.
In general, FUE grafts are fragile, which can hinder the overall growth and yield of the procedure. However, the growth rate depends on the surgeon you select. A surgeon who is not competent in FUE or chooses robotic FUE will have less overall growth, then a skilled FUE specialist. Another con to FUE is the potential of depleting the donor area. If a surgeon removes too much hair from the donor area, the donor area can appear patchy and moth-eaten.
How Do You Find Out Which Method is Best For You?
There is no best method, as there is no one-size-fits-all in hair transplant surgery. The best method depends on your personal goals. Everyone weighs the pros and cons differently. The best way to find out which plan would best suit you is to consult with a hair transplant surgeon and discuss your overall expectations and goals.
You can consult with a recommended surgeon in your area by clicking here. Our hair loss forum approves our recommended surgeons. There is not one overseer or approver, but rather an entire community that consists of hair loss sufferers, hair transplant patients, and other hair transplant surgeons. Your age, hair loss pattern, and budget will determine the best method for you.