Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation
Strip Harvest Method
Follicular units are naturally occurring groups of 1-4 hairs that are present in the human scalp. Each follicular unit contains sebaceous glands, nerves, a small muscle and occasional fine vellus hairs. During the transplantation, hair is removed from the back of the scalp in a single strip. Microscopic dissection then allows the individual follicular units to be removed intact from this strip without being damaged. It is possible to transplant individual follicular units and their distinct anatomic and physiologic entity as a whole, ensuring optimal hair growth.
Since the 1960’s, the evolution of hair restoration has seen many important innovations, the most significant being the development of the Follicular Unit Graft. Early hair surgeries transplanted large 4mm grafts, or “hair plugs.” The introduction of the more aesthetically pleasing Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) has enabled surgeons to distribute donor hair across larger areas of the scalp, virtually eliminating the “doll hair” look of hair plugs.
Strip Harvest Technology Today
Trimming smaller “skinny” grafts and making smaller incisions with ultra refined tools allows a hair transplant surgeon to transplant follicular unit grafts even closer together, thus minimizing the number of hair transplant procedures a patient may require. The strip harvest method produces a linear scar across the back of the scalp. Dr. Niedbalski has added the benefit of ACell to the margins of the donor area in his closure technique, enhancing the healing to be a nearly undetectable scar, similar to the crease in the palm of your hand.
The FUT harvesting method allows follicular units to be separated with precision under a microscope. This reduces the likelihood of graft transection and increases the rate of graft survival upon transplantation to the recipient site. The doctor can then select from 1, 2, 3, or 4 hair follicular units to design the restoration for the most natural looking results.
Some refer to the FUT method of hair transplantation as the new “Gold Standard” for hair restoration surgery. The skilled and experienced doctor specializing in hair restoration surgery will be well familiar with the various harvesting methods. By clarifying the patient’s expectations, doctor and patient will collaborate to select the best harvesting method for that individual. Choosing the right harvesting method requires consideration of several variables that are discussed during consultation. Dr. Niedbalski offers both FUE and FUT graft harvesting, and sometimes even combines the two methods in a single procedure.
The FUT harvesting method creates a nice “chubby” graft, with lots of healthy tissue around it to sustain it during the transplant process. Because each graft is carefully sectioned by hand under the magnification of a microscope, the graft can be observed to ensure it is not transected and the supporting tissues are fully intact. These factors combine to increase the survival rate of grafts transplanted utilizing the FUT harvesting method.