There are two primary types of hair transplants. These are follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). Of these methods, it is the latter that is the most popular. This is largely owing to its minimally invasive surgeries and speedy recovery process. While FUT does not offer these things, it may still have some appeal to those suffering from alopecia. In this article, we’ll be examining the often overlooked benefits of follicular unit transplantation to help you decide if it is right for you.
What Is FUT?
Prior to the introduction of FUE, FUT was the most popular method of hair restoration in the world. It provided an affordable and more effective alternative to many earlier types of hair transplants. It continues to do so to this day.
To begin the FUT process, a surgeon identities a hair-bearing spot on the patient’s head. This becomes the donor site. The area of the scalp affected by alopecia is, of course, the receiver site. Strips of skin are removed from the donor site, hair and all. These strips are then divided into smaller sections and attached to the patient’s receiver site.
The Allure Of FUT
Although FUE is the more popular method of hair transplantation, many people continue to choose FUT to reverse the effects of balding. This is often because FUT is quite a bit more affordable than FUE. While FUE can reach in excess of $20,000 in most Western countries, FUT rarely reaches $10,000 in price. Travel outside of the Western world for your hair transplant and you can expect to pay even less. In Turkey, for example, follicular unit transplantation can be secured for less than $5000. For more information on traveling to Turkey for a hair transplant, take a look at this in-depth blog post.
Follicular unit extraction is a relatively new procedure. Because of this, it can be a challenge to find a hair restoration clinic which offers it. Those that do often have long waiting lists, even for a consultation. Follicular unit transplantation, however, is available from virtually every hair restoration clinic. Choose FUT over FUE and you can expect to have your hairline restored with minimal waiting around.
Because FUT predates FUE, surgeons have had more time to perfect the procedure. Almost every hair restoration surgeon is a master of FUT, so you can be certain they will be able to create the hairline you’ve been dreaming of. FUE, however, is still being worked out. While there are a number of surgeons who are bonafide FUE experts, they can be difficult to come by.
The Recovery Process
The only major disadvantage of follicular unit transplantation is the time it takes to recover from the procedure. While FUE has an average recovery time of less than a week, those who undergo FUT are advised to set aside markedly longer for convalescence. In most cases, FUT takes about 30 days to recover from. During this time, you may experience some discomfort as your scalp adjusts. Once the 30 days have passed, however, you can enjoy a lifetime of pain-free flowing locks!