FUT or Strip hair transplant is an old hair transplant method that restores hair loss. It initiated in the 90’s and it spread quickly worldwide. Lately, it is recorded a rapid withdrawn of the FUT –Strip hair transplant application as the minimally invasive FUE hair transplant method expands. This is happening because the results of the FUE hair transplant technique are very impressive. Moreover, FUE technique does not lead to the unpleasant consequences of FUT. Thanks to the advancement in FUE technique it is possible the extraction of a large number of hair follicles – a fact that during the previous years was solely capable with FUT hair transplant method. This fact was actually the main advantage of FUT – Strip technique.
- Maximization of the number of grafts that can be harvested in a single hair transplant session. This advance technique allows for the transplanting of over 3500 grafts. Many patients who have never had a hair transplant can complete their hair restoration in a single surgery.
- Damaged to hair grafts is minimized. The strip procedure allows the surgical team to harvest and process the grafts under microscope effectively reducing transection (damaging hair follicles).
- The surgery is less labor intensive then its FUE counterpart and can be elected at a more affordable cost.
- A linear scar.
- Require 6-8 experienced specialists for 1 patient.
Design of the donor area’s strip that will be used as a transplant.
The strip width ranges usually from 1 to 2 cm, so that the difficulty in the closure of the surgical wound is eliminated. Furthermore, in this way the possibility of creating a dysmorhic wound is avoided. The strip is usually taken from the scalp’s occipital area and it is extended from the one outer ear (pinna) to the other.
Application of local anesthesia along the strip.
A lidocaine and adrenaline combination is frequently used.
It is performed by an incision that extends from both sides up to the subcutaneous fat. Then the strip is detached from the subcutaneous fat by using scalpel or scissors. At this stage, great attention is needed to avoid the creation of a deep skin incision and a possible destruction of the area’s sensory nerves as there lies the danger of postoperative hyperesthesia in the area above the strip or even the creation of a painful neuroma. Furthermore, a meticulous hemostasis after strip’s removal is required as the area is full of vessels. Otherwise, there lies the risk of a postoperative haematoma or even the wound’s decomposition.
It is usually carried out in layers. Subcutaneous absorbable stitches are being used in the deep layers of the skin. Nylon stitches or endodermic consecutive stitches are being used for the upper skin layers’ suturing. Recently, it is being applied the most advanced suturing technique, trichophytic closure, as it enables the approximation of the epidermal edges allowing hair growth in the scar for an optimal and cosmetically acceptable result.
After the strip has been detached, it is handed to the surgeon’s team of assistants. The strip is gradually cut into pieces so as grafts of appropriate diameter occur. A major disadvantage of FUT – Strip method is that the majority of hair transplant professionals produce grafts consisting of 5-10 hairs (minigrafts), thus big enough for implantation purposes. As a consequence this produces extremely unnatural results, especially when those big grafts are implanted in areas such as the head’s forefront and hairline. On the contrary, very few cases are those during which grafts containing 1-4 hairs (micrografts) that resemble the natural hair follicles can be isolated.
Hair follicles implantation.
The majority of doctors and clinics that apply FUT – Strip technique, perform graft’s implantation by applying the old technique: Receptions are being created with the use of scalpel or needle. Afterwards the grafts are being implanted in the receptions by using forceps. The disadvantage of this technique is that is a bloody procedure and it leads to serious postoperative swelling and scarring of the donor area.
Turning Back to Normal Life
The transplanted follicles indurate approximately within 7 days. In this period? incrustation disappears by careful washing. Your transplanted hair continues growing for 2 – 3 weeks and then starts shedding. Sometimes some of it? sometimes all of it may shed. Your follicles start growing again after a resting period of a few weeks. Real form is acquired after growing within 10 – 12 months for front area transplantations and within 12 – 15 months for top area transplantations.