FOLLICULAR UNIT EXTRACTION (FUT): AN IN-DEPTH LOOK

Everyone experiences daily hair loss, but with hundreds of thousands of hairs on your head, most people don’t notice when a few thousand go missing, and they grow back to replenish the loss. When you start to see a clump of hair in the drain or a bunch stuck in your brush, your hair loss might be more severe and require treatment. The professionals at MAXIM Hair Restoration offer a variety of non-surgical and surgical hair transplant procedures to treat hair loss. One of these procedures is called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also known as the Strip Method.

A Brief History of Hair Transplantation

Man Combing Hair - In Dept Look at FUT Hair Transplants

Dr. Norman Orentreich, a New York University (NYU) dermatologist, performed the first hair transplant in the U.S. in 1952. Hair transplantation consisted of taking large punch grafts, harvested from the back of the patient’s scalp, known as the donor area, and then transplanting those hairs to the thinning and balding areas where the patient was experiencing hair loss. This technique took dozens of circular hair tufts and plucked them down onto the hairline, giving an unnatural appearance.

Today’s methods for hair transplantation began in the early 1990s with Dr. Bobby Limmer being the first to perform Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Another modern technique was also developed after that, known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) which was similar to Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Both now offer much more natural-looking results with the FUE method transplanting the grafts without a linear scar and without using sutures. 

What Is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is a type of hair transplant that uses a strip method. It’s a widely-used procedure with excellent retention and regrowth rates among patients, enabling hair transplant surgeons to perform MEGA Sessions upto 4,000 grafts. The density and survival rate of grafts with FUT is higher compared to FUE. At MAXIM Hair Restoration, a hair transplant doctor will remove a strip of hair from the patient’s donor site, usually located at the back of the head where hair is more full. 

Next, the strip of hair is dissected into individual hair grafts, each consisting of one to three hair follicles. These are known as micro grafts. When hair transplants originated, each graft consisted of five to 10 hair follicles known as plugs. Micro grafts allow for a more natural appearance of the hair and are far less obvious than plugs once were.

Finally, the hair transplant physician transplants the hair grafts to the area on the head where you’re experiencing baldness or thinning. The typical duration of a FUT procedure is about six hours and it is performed in an outpatient clinical setting. The client will receive local anesthesia, allowing them to take a nap, converse on the phone, or watch TV during the procedure. The team at MAXIM Hair Restoration can perform MEGA hair transplant sessions, where up to 4,000 grafts are transplanted at a time.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is a proven surgical hair restoration technique that produces a higher yield, more grafts, and a higher survival rate than other methods.  You can also expect to experience a denser result with FUT, restoring not only your hair but also your confidence. 

What Are the Benefits of FUT?

The most significant benefit is the density at which the hair is restored and regrown using the FUT method. Harvesting an extended strip from the donor area provides thousands of individual hair grafts, which is more than any other hair restoration technique can do, allowing thousands to be transplanted in a single surgery. For patients experiencing significant hair loss, the ability to transplant thousands of grafts in one sitting can be very advantageous.

Who Is a Good Candidate for FUT?

Several factors will be considered when determining whether or not you’re a good candidate for Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Most candidates experience significant hair loss, making the possibility of transplanting 3,000 or more grafts in a single procedure appealing. Factors to be considered include:

  • Age. Patients between ages 25 and 65 are best suited for FUT. Hair loss in younger patients is less predictable, while older patients may have health concerns such as high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and other issues. 
  • Gender. FUT is a viable option for males and females experiencing hair loss. Although commonly referred to as male pattern baldness, this type of hair loss can affect either gender. 
  • Hair loss pattern. FUT is best suited for hair loss that’s concentrated in specific areas on your head, including male pattern baldness, which leaves a horseshoe-shaped pattern of thinning or receding hair along the hairline.
  • Hairstyle. FUT is best for patients who wear their hair a little longer in the back to conceal the linear scar from the strip removal. If the patient wears a buzzed hairstyle, you risk having a visible scar. 
  • Hair color. If your hair color is similar to your skin tone, you’ll have less color contrast, making you a good candidate. 

If you’re considering hair transplantation and would like to know if FUT is an option for you, contact the team at MAXIM Hair Restoration. You’ll receive a free consultation where our professionals will discuss all of our hair restoration methods, the advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not you’re a good candidate for each procedure. We’re here to help you get back the hair and confidence you’ve been missing.

How Do You Prepare for a FUT Procedure?

Once you have been deemed a good candidate for FUT, you will undergo a pre-op evaluation to ensure that you’re in good health. Medical clearance may be required for patients over 65 years of age and those with health issues such as high blood pressure, anxiety, cardiac issues, and/or if they are on certain medications. It is highly recommended that you avoid alcohol, vitamin E, and aspirin for 48 hours prior to your procedure. Any of these may cause excessive bleeding during the FUT procedure. A good night’s sleep and rest are essential, and a light breakfast on the morning of your procedure is a good idea. Shower, wash, and dry your hair thoroughly and avoid adding any hair products to your hair, particularly synthetic and fragrant ones that may cause an allergic reaction. 

How Many Visits Does a FUT Procedure Require?

At MAXIM Hair Restoration, you typically come in first for a complimentary consultation to determine if FUT or FUE is the best hair transplant option for you. If you and the hair doctor mutually decide on the FUT method, our staff or doctor will go over any pre-op instructions at the same visit. You will then come back the day of your procedure and again for a post-op visit seven to 10 days after your FUT procedure.

We often invite patients back for a six- to 12-month visit as well to evaluate the outcome of your procedure. If, at any time, during your time with MAXIM, you experience any side effects or reactions or concerns, reach out to us immediately. 

Are There Any Side Effects to FUT Hair Transplants?

FUT complications are rare, with less than 1% of patients developing any type of infection, side effects, or complications after the surgery. The ample blood supply to the head speeds the healing process, making FUT a reasonably fast-healing procedure. Potential complications include the following, the vast majority of which are temporary and resolve over time:

  • Unnatural-looking hair. 
  • Scarring or bumps. 
  • Folliculitis, or the inflammation of hair follicles.
  • Swelling.
  • Bleeding.
  • Pain.
  • Cysts.
  • Numbness.

If you experience any of these side effects after your FUT procedure, reach out to the hair restoration specialist that performed your FUT for further instructions.

How Much Does FUT Cost?

On average, a follicular unit transplantation procedure costs between $6,000 and $10,000+, although prices among clinics will vary. Factors that determine the cost of your procedure include:

  • Amount of hair. Some clinics offer FUT at a fixed price, while others charge by the number of grafts. Remember that each graft consists of 1 to 3 hair follicles. In that case, the more hair you need to have transplanted, the higher the cost.
  • Surgeon. The surgeon’s experience may increase the price of your FUT procedure, but it also gives you the added benefit of all that experience. 
  • Who is Performing the Procedure? Clinics where the hair transplant doctor is fully involved in the procedure will charge more as it also ensures an improved and higher quality clinical outcome and result. 
  • Location. Which city the clinic is located in may affect the price of your FUT procedure. It might be worth it to research cities that you tend to visit or live in and those you’d be willing to travel to for FUT to determine which is the best price. Note that most medical tourism destinations do not offer FUT since it requires post-op recovery and care. 
  • Travel costs. Travel expenses should be considered if your procedure requires you to travel.

Typically, insurance doesn’t cover hair transplantation procedures, including FUT, because it’s considered a cosmetic procedure. If your hair loss is due to trauma or burns, you might be able to get your insurance to cover it.

MAXIM Hair Restoration Payment Options

Maxim Hair Restoration offers competitive hair transparent prices with no hidden costs or fees. You can pay for your FUT procedure or any of our other services via credit card, certified check, or cash. We also offer convenient financing options including zero-percent financing, to help you pay for your procedure. Zero percent financing is typically for one year and with some lenders up to two years. Finance companies include Care Credit, Green Sky Credit, Alphaeon, United Medical Credit, and Lending Club.

Contact the Team at MAXIM Hair Restoration Today

If you’ve been considering hair restoration services, it’s time to reach out to the knowledgeable team at MAXIM Hair Restoration today. You can start with a FREE consultation to discuss your options with one of our professionals, ask any questions you may have, and go over how the procedures work, including cost and recovery time. You can reach us at (802) 370-3227 or complete our convenient and secure online form to set up an appointment. With locations all across the United States including New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Northern Virginia, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin (ATX), Sarasota, Tampa, Boca Raton, Puerto Rico and Turkey, Manila and Cebu in the Philippines, you’re sure to find a MAXIM Hair Restoration clinic near you. We have offices planned in Boston, Maryland, Charlotte, Chicago, Indianapolis (Indiana), Scottsdale (Arizona), Philadelphia, Orlando (Florida), Seattle (Washington), and other markets around the country.

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