FUT Hair Transplants
- The Procedure – What To Expect
- FUT Scarring - The Truth behind the Myth
- FUT Post Procedure Recovery
- Am i suitable for a FUT hair transplant?
On arrival at our Purpose Built Surgical centre, you will be greeted by your original consultant. You will be escorted to your exclusive patient suite to relax ahead of the procedure. We shall carry out a patent assessment to ensure you have followed all pre-operative instructions that you are provided. Your FUT surgeon will arrive to confirm the intentions of the surgery assuring your goals are to be met and answer any additional questions you may have. Your blood pressure will be taken and pre-surgery medications administered.
You will then be taken into theatre. Once mobilised into theatre, your donor area (area of follicular unit abundance naturally resilient to DHT) will be prepared (Typically, the hair is layered up to isolate the narrow region of tissue to be removed, this and only this section will be shaved to a short length). Your surgeon will begin to anaesthatise the donor area with local anaesthetic. Once the donor area is receptive to no pain or discomfort, the excision of the narrow donor tissue (follicle rich) will begin (this part of the procedure takes a great deal of diligence to ensure no follicles are damaged). Once, the follicle rich donor tissue has been removed in its entirety it will be stored in a unique peptide, temperature controlled sterile solution to preserve the integrity of the follicles. Your surgeon will immediately begin to close the incision using a closure know as tricophytic, it will involve an internal stitch to eliminate tension in the donor area, followed by an external stitch which is deemed the cosmetic suture that will present the patient with a single near un-distinguishable linear scar. Once complete you will be manoeuvred into an upright position on our purpose built hair transplant chair.
Our expert surgeon will begin to meticulously mark out the recipient area, paying immaculate attention to detail in defining a hairline or crownal rotation. Your surgeons intention is to ensure that the hair transplantation procedure renders a perfectly natural and aesthetically complimentary appearance undetectable to anyone (this is often additionally sold as trico-sculpture, but a standard provision by all good hair restoration surgeons). You will of course ahead of the next phase have the to opportunity to review the intended recipient area, on approval from yourself, your surgeon will begin to carefully anaesthatise the area with a tumescent anaesthetic. When and only when the recipient area is receptive to no pain or discomfort, diligently and meticulously the micro-lateral incisions (often referred to as recipient sites) will be created, the incisions will be made with 4 main principals in mind:
Whilst your surgeon is performing the closure and creating the recipient sites, your donor tissue will be dissected under stero-microscope(s) (helps to ensure precise removal with no damage/transection to graft) by a team of specialist hair transplant technicians. The individual follicular units will be meticulously removed in their natural groupings and isolated into groups based on hair number, as the number of hairs within each follicular unit will have a determining factor as to their placement within the recipient area.
Once all the recipient micro-lateral incisions have been made, your harvested follicular units will then be planted/transferred into the recipient sites. Once and only when all the follicular units have been transferred and reviewed, is the process over. Appropriate dressings will be applied (dressing applied to donor area only for 24 hours) and you will then be mobilised back to your exclusive patient suite. You will have all your post-operative instructions explained in great detail by your original consultant, provided with all post operative medications (antibiotics & Cortico-Steroids etc..) and with your permission photographs will be taken to add to your existing patient file. Again, you will have the opportunity to ask any further questions you may have. Your surgeon will visit you ahead of you being dis-charged. All food and beverages will be provided on the day, maintaining blood sugar levels ensuring maximum comfort throughout the day.
Today, with modern day advances in medical technology and contnuing research FUT harvesting of grafts causes minimal scarring; a narrow linear scar approximately 1mm in height; in the patient's donor area where the follicle rich donor tissue has been removed.
FUT scarring differs from scarring from FUE in that the latter procedure produces a tiny little circular scars in the donor area where the individual follicular unit(s) was removed. The tiny round scarring from FUE is often impossible to detect when hair in the donor area is at a normal length and the extraction is performed by a skilled surgeon.
The same can be said for FUT, the linear scar can be impossible to detect with hair at a length of 4mm plus. While the outcome of the healing process, and thus the appearance of scar tissue, depends on several variables; including the depth of donor tissue, the skill of the surgeon, how the patient heals typically and whether the post-operative healing/recovery instructions are followed - short cropped hair or a shaved head will typically not be a limitation in comparison with the alternative strip harvesting procedure, FUT.
The recovery period after an FUT procedure is very simple and is advised to be between 10 - 14 days. You are encouraged to take some time away from work to ensure you are not subject to any activities or environments that may affect your follicular unit grafts during the healing phase. The intention within the recovery period is to nurture to transplanted grafts and prevent them from being displaced. It must be made apparent that you the patient are not bound to your bed, as with the procedure day itself, you are fit and well to leave the same day.
During the recovery period you are advised to do very little and get plenty of rest avoiding any activities that may increase your blood pressure (heavy lifting or vigorous exercise) and to avoid bending over from the waist. Your physical appearance in the few days immediately after may be slightly affected by some minor swelling (more likely with restoration carried out in the frontal/temporal hairline), the appearance of scabbing around the recipient site creation and maybe an unfamiliar haircut - again all of these will resolve themselves promptly.
The suture will be a dissolvable suture, however, in our experience, we insist the suture be removed at 10 days post-procedure, as this renders a much more comfortable experience and proves to be beneficial for the healing.
In the immediate weeks after the procedure it is quite normal for the hairs contained within the transferred follicular units to shed. This is nothing to draw attention to or be alarmed. Around 2 - 4 months after the procedure is when 99% of all patient will begin to see any initial regrowth from the follicular units that begin a new Anagen growth phase. The most significant amount of regrowth shall be seen between 8 - 12 months. The full and final result of any hair transplant should be witnessed between 12-18 months at full maturity and your hair loss concern eliminated.
Generally as a rule of thumb FUT is considered suitable for a greater demographic of people than that of FUE. Several immediate factors are to be taken into account to determine suitability for a particular method of Hair Transplantation.
- The extent of your hair loss and the amount of restoration you require.
- The type of hair you have i.e straight, wavy, curly, afro-caribbean
- How you intend to style/wear your hair
- Whether you are prepared to shave your hair for the procedure
- The overall condition of your potential donor area
- The budget aswell as time frame to complete treatment
Ultimately any attempt to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for a hair transplantation procedure should never be taken as a given. A consultation with a hair restoration specialist should be your first port of call.
At your personal hair transplant consultation, our expert hair restoration consultant(s) will determine if a hair restoration procedure would be beneficial in your circumstances.
An extensive examination of your scalp using the latest video microscope equipment will be performed to determine the level of loss you have experienced and provide prior indication of follicles that are likely to fail in the future and best predict a pattern for which you follow.
Based on the information acquired during the examination of the balding and non-balding areas, the consultant will make a bespoke recommendation to each individual patient. All the benefits and associated risks will be explained in detail regarding a hair restoration procedure (FUE or strip harvesting). You will have plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you may have, as well as being given the precise cost implications of the treatment you require.