In hair transplant surgery, there are two main procedures: strip excision (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). While both techniques have pros and cons, many hair transplant surgeons recommend one over the other based on patient needs. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about these two options.
What is Strip Excision?
Strip excision, also known as Follicular Unit Transplantation or FUT, is a surgical hair transplant procedure. In this method, the surgeon removes a strip of scalp from the back of your head and dissects it into individual follicles. These follicles are then transplanted to your balding areas, where they will continue to grow as normal hair would.
Strip excision can be performed at any stage of balding (i.e., early or late), but it is usually done when male pattern baldness starts to cause significant hair loss in the central portion of the scalp. The surgery is performed with local anesthesia that numbs only the skin, so patients stay awake during this procedure.
Pros of Strip excision are:
- It has a relatively better growth rate compared to the FUE
- Less damage is done to the hair follicles during micrographic surgery.
- The procedure does not require you to shave your head.
- Usually costs less than Follicular Unit Excision.
Cons of Strip excision are:
- Leaves a linear scar.
- Cannot keep the back of your hair very short.
- You may experience Postoperative pain at night, which may be worse with FUT compared to FUE.
What is FUE?
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a less invasive procedure that involves removing hair follicles from the donor area with a small punch instrument. The resulting wound heals faster, with fewer complications than strip excision.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the only method used for hairline correction and eyebrow restoration.
In this procedure, the surgeon harvests individual follicular units from the back of your scalp one at a time using tiny punches about one millimeter wide. Because FUE uses such small incisions, you’re left with barely visible scars on your head after surgery; these disappear within six months if you massage them regularly.
PROs of FUE Hair Transplant:
- FUE uses tiny incisions, so your scarring will be barely visible.
- You may leave the procedure with slightly less hair than you started, but you’ll still have enough to cover your balding area.
- Healing time is much faster than other methods, so you’ll be able to go back to work or socialize immediately.
Cons of FUE Hair Transplant
- Slightly less growth rate compared to FUT (Strip Excision) due to higher transections.
- The procedure is more expensive than FUT (Strip Excision). You may need multiple sessions to reach the desired coverage area.
- The procedure takes longer than FUT (Strip Excision) due to the number of follicles that need transplanted.
- There is also a very slight risk of scarring at the donor site. However, this risk should be minimal if done by an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Comparison of the two hair transplant procedures
Strip excision is a surgical procedure that involves removing a patient’s balding scalp and dividing it into long, thin strips. The doctor then transplants hair follicles from these strips to the areas of the head where they are needed.
Follicular unit extraction, or FUE, is similar to strip excision but uses smaller grafts—between 50 and 500, which may result in more natural-looking results with less visible scarring for most patients; some prefer it due to reduced invasiveness. Also, because FUE uses individual grafts instead of strips—less damage is done during surgery than when using a strip excision method.
Recommendation from Hair Transplant Surgeons
Strip excision is the gold standard for hair transplants. However, FUE is a good alternative for patients who want to avoid scars or quickly recover. While FUE is more cost-effective than strip excision, it’s not as invasive and can be used on patients with limited donor areas.
A FUE transplant is also a good option if you have thin hair because the strip technique can damage your donor area by removing large amounts of tissue. However, only individual follicles are extracted from the donor area with FUE, so it’s less likely to cause damage than strip excision.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a less invasive and more precise hair restoration procedure that offers faster recovery time than its counterparts.
In a poll of Hair Transplant Surgeons, we asked which type of surgery they preferred. The majority said their preference was less invasive and more precise FUE procedures.
- FUE is a less invasive and more precise hair restoration procedure with a faster recovery. It uses a punch device to extract follicles from the donor area that are then transplanted into balding areas on your scalp. Since it does not require incisions, you can expect to experience little to no scarring after the procedure.
- This method also makes it easier for hair transplant surgeons to harvest follicles from different parts of your scalp without making any incisions in your head (thus reducing any risks associated with blood loss). The hairs are transplanted individually at their desired location rather than rolled into large swaths of skin before grafting.
- FUE is the best option for people who want to avoid shaving their heads, wearing hats, or using hair plugs due to male pattern baldness. With FUE, surgeons can also place follicles in areas where they are needed most rather than just placing them randomly throughout your scalp, as would be done with strip excision.
For more information about hair transplant procedures, visit FUE Hair Transplant Maryland. Their extensive experience with the procedure and quick painless results make them the best choice for clients looking to restore their lost hair.
If you’re considering a hair restoration procedure, it’s up to you to decide which method suits your needs. FUE and strip excision have proven results when performed by experienced surgeons on various body parts. Proceeding with surgery with an understanding of the benefits, risks, and alternatives is wise. We hope the above article clarifies these issues for you so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment plan.
Anagen Hair Restoration makes it easy for patients to find the right procedure at a location that works best for them. We make it our goal to ensure that the process of hair restoration is as simple, easy, and convenient for our patients as possible. Whether you’re looking for a NeoGraft hair transplant in Washington DC or a Transgender hair transplant, we help you find the perfect fit. Book your consultation with us or give us a call at (301) 591-6552 today!