Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is a hair restoration procedure in which a patient’s hair is transplanted in naturally occurring groups of 1 to 5 hairs, called follicular units.
What is a follicular unit?
Hair grows in tiny groups or ‘bundles’, usually between 1 and 4 hairs. Sometimes there are even five hairs in a bundle, however, it’s not typical. These bundles consist of the hair itself and the follicle, a sac-like structure beneath the scalp which produces and nourishes new hair growth. There are follicles which consist of only a single hair or they contain two, three, four and sometimes five hairs.
Dr. Marko uses local anesthesia (lidocaine) to numb the donor area, located in the back and sides of the scalp. He then removes a thin, rectangular section of tissue from the donor area. The amount of donor tissue removed is based on what a patient needs to restore the thinning or balding area of the scalp. For example: A patient with minimal hair loss in the hair line and frontal third might need ten square centimeters (10 sq. cm.) of tissue removed for the procedure, and a patient who is thinning from the hair line to crown could need thirty square centimeters (30 sq. cm.) of tissue.
The individual ‘follicular units’ (grafts) are then separated under microscopic magnification. The goal is to not damage any of the follicles, and keep them in their naturally occurring ‘bundles’ of 1, 2, 3, or 4 hairs. The less dissection of the grafts, the better the chance of graft survival.
Prior to transplanting grafts, the area of the scalp being restored with hair is numbed with a local anesthetic (lidocaine). Dr. Marko creates the recipient sites (small slits in the scalp) where the grafts will be transplanted. This is the artistic part of the procedure, and Dr. Marko takes pride in creating a hair pattern that will result in a hair restoration masterpiece. Each patient’s procedure is a work of art, similar to an artist painting a picture.
The strategic placing of the grafts, at the proper angle and direction, will create a natural looking head of hair. There is no ‘pluggy’ look or corn rows of hairs as seen in procedures from years ago. The new procedure is called ‘micro-follicular unit hair transplantation’ which means the hair is artistically transplanted, one follicle at a time, with naturally occurring follicular units. In other words, the final result of the procedure will look totally natural.