The full name for the FUT hair transplant technique is Follicular Unit Transplant. Commonly also known as “FUSS” or “Strip Technique”. the technique involves extracting intact groups of hairs from the donor. Known as follicular units. Scalp hair grows in groupings of individual hairs. Natural bunches of one to four shafts of hair growing from each follicle in the skin. Follicular Unit Grafting is the most refined technique of transplant todate. Surgically harvesting hair from the donor area keeping each unit intact.
There is an average of one follicular unit per one square millimetre. Each follicular unit contains an average of 2 hairs. As a result, with a simple calculation. It is possible to yield one thousand follicular unit grafts with approximately two thousand hairs. From a hair bearing donor strip measuring one centimetre wide by ten centimetres long.
FUT Donor Harvesting
The hair and skin characteristics need to be measured around the donor area. The calculation will consider the hair follicular unit density and skin laxity. To achieve the length and width required to safely harvest the required grafts. In preparation the hair is shaved. Ready for extraction. A saline and anaesthetic is injection into the donor site. Making the harvesting of the strip of tissue easier and without discomfort. With a single blade scalpel, the surgeon will remove one strip of donor tissue. The surgeon will then close the wound with sutures. Often two sutures. One inner to relieve the tension and then the outer suture to close the wound.
Absorbable sutures dissolve naturally. For non-dissolving sutures or staples the surgeon will remove them when healing is enough to do so. Superficial healing starts immediately. Initial scalp tightness in the area is normal. With the skin returning to normal over the next two weeks or so. Skin complexion can take a few weeks before returning to normal. Resulting in a linear scar. Closure techniques allow hair to regrow back through the scar line.
Graft Preparation and Placement
The removed strip is first, divided into smaller sections. Each section is preserved in a saline solution. Also known as a holding solution. This is to maintain graft survival and quality. The individual hair follicles are separated from the strips. Performed by hair technicians. Under the supervision of the Doctor. Always under magnification. Careful to remove the excess skin and fatty tissue from the follicular units. The technicians are careful to avoid injury to the hair follicles. Separated into the natural hair groupings. From one to four hair units. Ready for placement.
FUT Donor Planning
The donor area is a finite resource of hair. Each patient has a limited number of hair follicles. That can safely be removed. This is limited by the quantity of donor characteristics. Donor hair density and scalp laxity are the key factors. In determining the total donor reserves for each patient. There is a limit to the number of follicular units that can be extracted from the donor area of the head. The average patient has about 7000 grafts available for transplantation. This is with careful planning. Good surgical Skills. Combined with good skin and healing properties. Over multiple procedures.