FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) Hair Transplant Explained:
When examined under a microscope, hair can be seen to grow in natural groupings that generally contain between one and four hairs. These natural groupings are called follicular units (FU’s). At Follicle HT, we achieve completely natural-looking results that are generally permanent by using exclusively single follicular unit grafts. Follicular units are obtained from the more permanent areas at the back and sides of the scalp using one of two techniques. Follicular unit strip surgery (FUT) involves removing a strip of hair-bearing skin from the donor area and then dividing that strip into follicular units for transplantation to the hairline or other areas. When performed using the meticulous surgical technique, this procedure leaves a fine-line scar along the back of the scalp that is generally difficult or impossible to detect unless the hair in that area is cut very short. Alternatively, follicular unit extraction surgery (FUE) involves extracting the donor follicles one by one using a precise, motorized surgical punch. The advantage of this technique is that it avoids a longer, fine-line scar so that the hair in the donor area can generally be cut to a fade, or even shaved with little or no visible scar.
Follicular unit strip surgery (FUT) is the traditional method of obtaining grafts for follicular unit transplantation. In an FUT Toronto procedure, a strip of hair-bearing scalp measuring about 1cm in height and up to 20cm or more in length is removed from the back of the scalp. The donor area is then reapproximated using a running stitch that is removed 7-10 days later. Because the hair above and below the donor site is not trimmed, the incision line is not visible after the procedure. Once the donor strip has been removed, it is then slivered under a high-powered microscope in order to obtain the individual follicular unit grafts for transplant. The advantage of FUT is that it is a faster technique, and because the grafts are prepared under a high-powered microscope, they are less susceptible to damage or injury during the harvesting process. The disadvantage of FUT is that it leaves a scar that can be visible if the hair is cut very short or shaved.
- In general, however, the scar from FUT is only 1-2 mm wide and does not represent a significant cosmetic issue. At Follicle HT, we use an advanced “trichophytic closure” technique that allows the surrounding hairs to grow right through the scar, often making it virtually undetectable.
The certain clinic only offers FUE surgery and do not offer FUT. Those that only offer FUE will often aggressively market it as a “no-scalpel” or “no scar” technique and characterize FUT surgery as an outdated, invasive procedure that leaves a large scar. In our opinion, this is potentially misleading to patients. While it is true that FUE does not involve a long, linear incision and does not require stitches, it does leave very tiny scars that in some patients, can be visible as small, light dots if the hair is cut very short or shaved. Patients should be aware that all surgery leaves scars.
There are some clinics that only offer FUE surgery because hair transplantation is not their core competency and they only began performing hair transplantation after acquiring one of the commercially available automated FUE systems. At such clinics, most or even all of the procedure is delegated to technicians. At Follicle HT, we have been performing hair transplantation since long before the automated FUE systems became available and we possess the skills and experience to offer our patients the most appropriate procedure for their specific circumstances. When you are making your choice of clinic, make sure you do your homework and ask the right questions.
At follicle HT, we offer a full range of hair restoration options. At this point, approximately 80% of our male patients elect to undergo FUE surgery but FUT can sometimes be the preferred option for certain patients, especially for females and men that have longer hair. The reasons for this are that with FUT surgery, only the area of hair that is harvested for transplant is trimmed, whereas FUE surgery requires shaving a much larger area at the back and sides of the scalp, which many women do not consider to be acceptable. Furthermore, those that wear their hair long in the back are less concerned about the issue of donor scar visibility because it will always be concealed by the hair above and below. Our view at Follicle HT is that both FUE and FUT have advantages and disadvantages. We offer both techniques because we feel that it is important for a full service hair transplantation centre to be prepared to offer care that is individualized to the needs of each patient.
Every patient that comes to Follicle HT has a comprehensive consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons. We assess factors including the current and anticipated hair loss patterns, the availability of donor’s hair, scalp laxity, and the characteristics and colour of the hair and skin. Taking all of this as well as the patient’s wishes into account can then provide a recommendation that makes sense for each individual.
At Follicle Hair Transplant Clinic, our state-of-the-art surgical facility is fully accredited and conforms to the highest standards of comfort and safety. Our surgeons are board-certified in head & neck and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. We have one of the most experienced FUT Toronto hair transplant teams in the country and regardless of whether your donor hair is harvested using the FUT or the FUE techniques, all of our cases use only single follicular unit grafts. Through adhering to the principles of aesthetic hairline design with total naturalness and balanced density, and meticulous surgical planning and technique, we are able to achieve excellent and predictable results. Regardless of the technique that is used, the overwhelming majority of our patients report minimal pain, scarring and downtime and are satisfied with their hair transplant experience and results.
Before the Procedure
Just like in any other surgical operation at Follicle HT and Solomon Facial Plastics, you will go through a comprehensive pre-operative consultation and consent process. The goals and objectives of your treatment plan will be defined and you will be provided with detailed pre and post-operative instructions to ensure your safety and reduce the incidence of complications during your FUT Toronto procedure.
The day of surgery
On the day of your procedure, you will meet with the surgeon and review the goals and plan. The recipient area will be marked and pre-operative photographs will be taken. Next, light oral sedation will be administered and the donor area will be prepared. With FUT surgery Toronto, only the hairs to be harvested will be trimmed and the area will be anesthetized with local freezing. During the freezing process, you will be positioned face down on something that resembles a massage table. There can be some discomfort for just a few minutes at the stage, but most patients report that this is minor.
Once the area is fully anesthetized, the surgeon will remove the donor strip in a process that normally takes only 10-15 minutes and during which there is no pain or discomfort. The donor area is then meticulously closed using our “trichophytic” technique that usually results in a fine-line donor site scar that is difficult to detect.
As our team uses microscopic dissection to meticulously divide the donor strip into individual follicular units, your surgeon will anesthetize the recipient area. Once again, this can be associated with a few minutes of relatively minor discomfort. After this has been completed, your surgeon will personally create the recipient sites that will define your new hairline. This is where the artistry of the procedure and the skill and experience of your surgeon come into play.
After the hairline has been created, the team will spend the next several hours meticulously implanting the follicular units one by one into the recipient sites that have been created by the surgeon. At Follicle HT, we use a combination of pre-made sites and “stick and place” techniques that allow for maximal precision, fine-tuning, and micro-adjustments along the way to ensure a totally natural final result.
The hair transplant procedure usually takes most of the day, so you will be provided with lunch, snacks, and plenty of breaks throughout the process. Most patients spend the day listening to music or podcasts, watching Netflix or movies, or just relaxing. It is a long day, but our patients report that it is a comfortable and relaxing experience overall.
As the procedure winds down at the end of the day, the team will go over all of your aftercare instructions in detail. You will be told exactly how to care for the donor and recipient areas and your prescriptions will be reviewed. You will be provided with a “care package” including written instructions and some gauze and pads. We encourage you to have a friend or family member pick you up because driving is not permitted after receiving prescription medications.
Recovery following hair transplantation is generally uncomplicated. Patients have been prescribed a one-week course of antibiotics in order to prevent infection as well as medication to minimize swelling. In general, the discomfort following hair transplant surgery is minimal and can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) but we do provide a prescription for stronger pain medication for those that need it. We provide detailed instructions on how to care for the donor and recipient areas, and how to wash your hair. Patients undergoing an FUT procedure are given a follow up appointment 7-10 days from the time of surgery for suture removal. Our professional office staff is always available to answer any questions.
Following a hair transplant, there is often some swelling that can track down into to forehead and eyelids and sometimes into the cheeks. This can lead to a puffy appearance for a few days but it is a normal and expected effect of the procedure and is nothing to worry about. The recipient areas will form scabs and crusts around the grafts. It is important to keep the graft areas clean and moist, and you can begin gently washing the hair within one to two days. The scabs will generally fall away within the first week leaving the transplanted follicles, which generally begin to grow in within 3 months. Most people elect to take a week off of in-person work following a hair transplant. Light exercise can be resumed after 7-10 days but patients should wait 2-3 weeks before resuming strenuous exercise and swimming.
The transplanted hair follicles will generally begin to grow within approximately 2-3 months and some of our patients will use medical treatments such as topical minoxidil (Rogaine) or PRP injections in order to promote graft growth and prevent further loss of surrounding non-transplanted hair over time. Within 4-6 months, most patients will notice a significant improvement and the full effect of the transplant procedure can take 12-18 months. The transplanted hair is your own and will continue to grow for a lifetime. You can cut and style it, use products, swim, and engage in sports and other activities just like normal.
Whether performed via the FUT or the FUE technique, follicular unit hair transplantation is considered the end refinement in hair restoration surgery. At Follicle HT, we are proud to offer follicular unit transplantation to patients of all genders and we are able to achieve excellent, predictable results using state-of-the-art techniques in a safe and comfortable environment. We view hair transplantation as a procedure that restores not only hair but confidence and self-esteem and has a positive impact on our patients’ lives.
One of the most popular hair restoration treatments nowadays is the Follicular Unit Transplantation Toronto or FUT. This is also sometimes referred to as Follicular Unit Extraction or the strip method. This is a safe, less invasive, and effective transplantation medical procedure that guarantees an 80-95% success rate and has only a 3-5% graft rejection rate.
If you’re from Toronto and probably suffering from alopecia, FUT might be the best possible hair restoration treatment for you. FUT Toronto is still considered one of the most effective and sought-after hair restoration treatments all over the globe. If you want to know more about FUT hair restoration Toronto and how it can positively impact your life by rebuilding your self-confidence, continue reading below.
If you have been dealing with hair loss and have wondered what can be done to restore your hair and self-confidence, we invite you to explore the information on this website and learn more about how we at Follicle HT can help. We encourage you to then take the next step and schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with one of our surgeons so that we can discuss the FUT Toronto hair restoration treatment plan that is right for you. You can contact us through the number provided on our website or you can book an appointment online. We are here to help!