FUT (Strip) or FUG method: Follicular Unit Transplantation Method
Follicular Unit Transplantation/Grafting is based upon the principle that hair does not grow individually but in naturally occurring groups of 1 to 4 hairs. These follicular units are obtained through microscopic dissection of tissue that is harvested in a single strip.
Using magnification loupes or microscopes it is possible to identify and extract these microscopic 1-4 hair units and transfer them to the areas of balding scalp. This method literally transfers the hairs in the same way that nature grows them and allows us to mimic a totally natural looking head of hair.
Here is a step by step explanation of the process involved:
One week prior
Keep a record of any medications you take one week prior to surgery and advise your doctor on the day of surgery.
Do not take aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory medication as this affects your bloods ability to clot and may increase bleeding.
Restrict and if possible cease smoking as it decreases blood flow to the scalp and can result in poor healing.
Do not drink alcohol three days prior to surgery as this can thin the blood.
Do not engage in strenuous exercise three days prior to surgery as this can thin the blood.
Do not drink coffee or any other caffeinated products the day prior.
The morning of your procedure
Wash your hair as you normally would and do not apply any styling products.
Wear upper body clothing that opens at the front and does not require it to be pulled over the head. i.e. button shirt and avoid round neck T-shirts.
Eat breakfast as you normally would.
You will begin with a review by your surgeon, during which he will explain the process, discuss any preferences you may have regarding hairline or graft placement and answer any questions you may have.
Then you will get changed into a surgical gown escorted to theatre where you will be given some mild sedatives to help you relax.
We will then attach some monitoring equipment to you to ensure that your are safe and comfortable during the procedure.
Next we select a narrow strip of donor scalp from the permanent hair zone. The hair in this area is clipped to a 1-2mm.
The donor scalp is then anesthetised (frozen) using a local anesthetic. This ensures that the procedure will be virtually pain free.
Once the donor tissue is removed he two edges are closed with either dissolving sutures or surgical staples, and a thin bandage is placed around the donor area.
The tissue is then placed under microscopes and dissected into their naturally occurring groups of 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs. And then sorted and stored depending on how many hairs they contain.
Once sufficient grafts are cut we will commence making the recipient sites with a very fine gauge needle and placing the grafts immediately after the hole is made. This is known as a “stick and plant” process and whilst it is more labour intensive it ensures that the smallest hole possible is made and reduces vascular damage to the scalp.
If we are performing a large procedure that started in the morning we will take a break for lunch at which time you are free to get up and stretch your legs and you will be given a meal you pre ordered in the morning.
Once all the grafts have been placed your surgeon will double check the position of all the grafts.
You will then get changed back into your clothes and a technician will read your post operative instructions and give your medications for the next week.
The night of your procedure we encourage you to sleep semi upright at a 30-45 degree angle to reduce blood pressure to the scalp.
Your post op medication will assist with sleep and any pain you may experience.
The following day we encourage you to return to our office so we may remove your bandage and check and wash your transplanted area and donor region.
You may resume showering normally with a low temp and pressure applied directly to the scalp after 5 days.
You should avoid alcohol for three days and abstain from smoking if possible.
You should not engage in any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for two weeks after the procedure. Any activity that stretches or puts undue pressure on the back of the scalp should be avoided for one month.
Most scabs in the recipient region should be gone after 7-10 days and the procedure should be virtually unnoticeable at this time.
The newly transplanted hair will begin to grow through after 10-12 weeks.
The final growing result is expected after 12 months.