FUE vs. FUT Hair Transplants: Overview
One of the most important decisions a patient needs to make is which type of hair transplant procedure to have: FUT/Strip or FUE. In Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT/Strip), a long, thin sliver of tissue removed from the donor area in the back and sides of the scalp and the individual follicular units are removed from that strip via stereo-microscopic dissection. The wound edges are then closed leaving a single, generally fine scar. In Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair is harvested through small circular incisions over a considerably larger area of the donor zone leaving tiny, round, white scars.
FUE procedures have grown increasingly popular with the development of new handheld devices and especially since the introduction of the ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System, but FUT or “Strip” procedures still provide excellent results and are considered the “gold standard” by many doctors. On this page, we will explore the pros and cons of FUT/Strip vs FUE in detail. We will use the terms FUT/Strip and FUT interchangeably.
For a detailed summary of the advantages and disadvantages of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) compared to Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT/Strip) .
The main advantage of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT/Strip) is that it typically (but not always) gives the highest yield of hair. When a patient’s primary goal is to achieve maximum fullness from the hair restoration, FUT should be considered. There are many reasons for this, including the precision of stereo-microscopic dissection and the ability to efficiently harvest from a more select area of the donor zone.
The main advantages of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are not leaving a linear donor scar and having a faster healing time. When the patient’s primary goal is to be able to wear their hair very short or return quickly to strenuous activity, FUE is ideal. FUE is also indicated when there is an increased risk of a widened scar or when scalp laxity (looseness) does not permit a strip excision. The patient may sometimes choose FUE simply to avoid the stigma of a linear donor scar even though it would be easily covered by their hair.