Hair transplant surgery has evolved significantly over the past 20 years. During the first several decades of its practice, patients were able to restore their hair, but the process was associated with a "dolls hair" look. This is no longer the case. Significant advances in surgical technique and technology have made it possible to move the "plug" method to a "follicular unit" approach where small clusters of one to four hair follicles are transplanted. Today, the superior process is used for all hair transplant surgeries. Plano, TX hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Joseph Yaker, performs the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), or "strip method," as one surgical option for hair restoration.
FUT at a Glance
FUT is a procedure that removes a thin strip of hair from the back and/or sides of the scalp where hair growth is permanent and not subject to balding. This strip is then dissected into hundreds to thousands of individual follicular unit grafts using microscopic dissection. These individual grafts, which typically contain between 1 to 4 hairs, are then transplanted into tiny sites created by Dr. Yaker in areas where hair is desired. The results from FUT appear natural and with great hair thickness. Thin linear scarring, however, on the back of the head does occur with this procedure and is something to consider when weighing the options for hair restoration.
Follicular Unit Transplantation is recommended for both men and women with advanced hair loss who are looking for a permanent solution to restore their hair and have adequate donor hair to cover current and future areas of loss. Those who wear their hair very short (less than 1/2 an inch) may not be suitable for this procedure because of the linear scar that is left on the back of the scalp. As a result, the SmartGraft™ FUE procedure may be an appropriate choice for you.
"Dr,Yaker performed strip surgery on me, 2900 grafts about a year ago. The surgery was flawless, painless and in about 2 months new hair began, in 6 months the transplant appeared near complete, by a year there was even more new hair. And the graft line has vanished. I'm 150% satisfied. My wife has always said that I'm good at finding the best doctors. She's right. I'm 69 and people tell me the new hair has rolled back 10 years."- G.S. / Google / Jun 26, 2015
"The factors that set TCHR above all others include Dr. Yaker's highly informative consultation in addition to the attentive staff. Having had a FUT procedure about a decade ago, I was familiar..."- K.G. / Yahoo / Jun 17, 2016
"I am very pleased with my FUT hair transplant and plasma injections. My hair had receded quite a bit and thinning out. It has been 18 months now. For the first time in my life I can wear my hair with or without bangs! He lowered my hair line, which complimented my high forehead. He is very professional and thorough. I posted before and after pictures on my Facebook last week. I highly recommend him."- E.P. / Facebook / Oct 24, 2017
"Dr. Yaker and his team have changed my life. It may sound vain, but losing your hair effects your confidence, mood and outlook. It makes it hard to go out into the world and meet new people. You certainly avoid rainy days and the swimming pool. Anything that might expose your hair loss. But after meeting Dr. Yaker and undergoing FUE, I have a new lease on life. The procedure is easy. One day in the office. I halfway napped through the morning while his team performed the extractions. Then I had Jimmy John’s for lunch and watched Netflix while he implanted the extracted hairs up top. It takes a couple days for your head to heal up and your hair to grow back from the close shave. But once it does, you are on the path to looking 10 years younger. I have done one procedure and I am looking to do another in the near future. Worth every penny. So if someone asked me whether they should do this and they are worried about scarring like I was. I say do the FUE, no scarring. In and out. It’s easy and so worth it. Thanks, Dr. Yaker. I will see you again soon."- J.B. / Google / Aug 26, 2018
What to Expect
Patients undergoing FUT will arrive to Dr. Yaker’s accredited surgical facility in the morning and will generally stay until the late afternoon. The length of time for the overall procedure will vary depending on how many grafts are needed to obtain the desired results. A local anesthetic and oral sedative are given before treatment. Patients are advised to wear comfortable clothing, and they are able to listen to music, watch TV or nap while the procedure takes place.
The Donor Area
The area where the donor hair is removed is located on the back of the scalp where the most hair density arises, as well as the best probability for permanent growth. During surgery, Dr. Yaker removes the donor tissue in a single thin strip. Once removed, the strip is closed using sutures. After the skin is closed, the hair above the donor site incision will easily conceal it, so that it’s hidden immediately following the procedure. The scar that will result will be a thin line, usually 1-2 millimeters in width. The total number of follicles that can be transplanted overall depends on your individual donor area characteristics such as hair texture, follicle density and scalp elasticity.
The Transplant Process
Once the strip has been removed, it is meticulously dissected into individual follicular units using a microscope to ensure each hair is separated with accuracy. These follicular grafts may contain anywhere between 1-4 hairs follicles. The recipient sites where the hair is to be transplanted is created by making tiny incisions. These sites are placed according to the correct angle, depth, orientation and density required to achieve the best cosmetic result.
The number of grafts and/or number of procedures required to achieve the patient's desired look depends on individual patient characteristics, such as degree of hair loss, donor hair quality and texture, and follicular density.
PRP During Surgery
Dr. Yaker bathes the hairs grafts and injects the transplanted area and donor area with platelet rich plasma (PRP) to maximize the healing and growth process. This autologous therapy consists of a concentrated mixture of powerful growth factors that is made from the patient’s own blood.
After FUT surgery, patients are given a specific post-operative hair care plan to follow at home. This involves a customized post-operative kit that includes a follicle growth spray, shampoo, conditioner, and Aminoplex hair repair supplements. Following the procedure, small scabs will form on the transplanted sites, but will go away within 7 to 10 days. Patients can return to their normal activities within a couple of days, but exercise should be avoided for at least a week. Beginning 3 to 4 weeks following the procedure, the transplanted grafts will begin to shed and go into a resting phase. This is a normal process as the follicles underneath push out the old hair, making room for new, healthy hair. The new hair will begin to grow at around 3 to 4 months following surgery. Patients will need to return to the office for suture removal at around 12 days.
New Hair Growth
By 7 months, the majority of patients will have about 50% of new hair growing in, and by the end of 9 months typically 80% of the hair grafts start to grow. During this time, areas that showed thinning will become denser, and new hair will appear where the grafts were placed, blending in with your native hair. It generally takes a full year, or longer, for all of the grafts to show its full growth. Regardless if a patient chooses to do FUT or FUE, the results are the same. The only difference between the two procedures is in the way the donor hair is removed from the back of the scalp. Patients are able to get back their youthful look they’ve been missing with naturally appearing fuller, thicker hair.
FUT allows for much larger graft extraction in a single session, and is more economical than FUE. Prices for FUE are slightly more than FUT as it is more labor intensive for the physician and his staff. FUT ranges from $5 to $7 per graft and FUE ranges from $6 to $8 per graft, depending on the size of each case.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- From $5,550
- Recovery Time
- 5-7 Days
- Average Procedure Time
- Post-op Follow-up
- Procedure Recovery Location
Long Term Scarring?
While FUT does result in a linear scar, a skilled surgeon will minimize the scarring as much as possible. Using a trichophytic closure approach, once healed, the linear line will be faint (1-2 mm) and can be camouflaged as long as the hair is not shaved or very short.
Normal Appearance Post-Op?
The average recovery time for FUT is about 5-7 days. Patients will have noticeable scabbing with pinkness over the transplanted area that last from 7 days to 10 days. Some may retain pinkness over their scalp for up to 2 weeks if they have fair skin.
Will Results Last?
For almost all hair transplant patients, virtually all of the transplanted hair is permanent and lasts a lifetime. It’s important to note that hair loss is a progressive disease and that hair transplant surgery does not stop non-transplanted hair on top of the scalp from continuing to thin and eventually bald. Therefore, further nonsurgical and/or surgical treatments may be needed to keep up with the rate of continuing hair loss.
SmartGraft™ FUE or FUT?
With so many innovative hair loss treatments available today, it can be challenging to find the best one. Patients seeking surgery have two very effective solutions with either FUT or FUE. Learn more about the differences between these procedures by visiting our FUT vs. SmartGraft™ FUE comparison page.
Overcome Your Hair Loss!
Follicular Unit Transplantation has produced outstanding outcomes for countless patients, allowing them to live confident and carefree lives with fuller heads of hair. If you have been considering hair restoration surgery and are ready to take the next step, we invite you to call the office of Dallas, TX hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Joseph Yaker, and schedule your consultation today.