FUT or FUE? New techniques for successful hair transplants
Young, dynamic, successful! These are qualities that come to mind directly when we meet people with naturally full hair. As a rule, our first glance falls on the hairstyle of the person opposite. Light spots or even a bald head influence the overall picture. But modern treatment methods now ensure that we can maintain a natural hair density until old age.
Full, well-groomed, natural hair underlines our character and leaves a positive impression on the other person. The hairstyle shapes our charisma and is often the last thing we fix in the mirror before leaving home. But before the stronger sex, we often suffer from massive hair loss at a young age, which in the worst case leads to baldness. Three out of four men gain experience with hair loss during their lifetime. Although there are a number of different causes for the phenomenon – incorrect nutrition, stress or incorrect hair care are quite reversible – the so-called predisposed hair loss is manifested at the hairline and parting with increasingly light areas where the hair does not grow back. Even if every second woman complains of hair loss in the course of her life – the majority of the male fraction suffers from the breakdown products of the sex hormone testosterone.
Hair transplantation as a last resort
Modern aesthetic plastic surgery offers a solution for men who cannot accept a beginning or already complete bald patch. Through a hair transplantation the formerly full hair can be reconstructed. However, since health insurance companies in Germany rarely cover the costs of treatment, a scientifically and technically leading centre for hair transplants has developed in Turkey – and there especially in Istanbul – in recent years due to the prevailing low service costs. The procedure can be performed there at considerably lower cost.
FUT hardly used anymore
Up until about eight years ago, hair transplants were still carried out in Istanbul using the so-called FUT method (Follicle Unit Extraction). In this procedure, a strip of skin is taken from the patient at the donor region. This strip is divided under the microscope into tiny grafts and inserted into the light areas with a fine instrument as a single or double hair transplant. The treatment is carried out in a comfortable sitting position under local anaesthesia. Depending on the quantity and complexity of the “grafts” to be transplanted, the treatment can take three to seven hours. The inserted hair roots begin to grow after about eight to twelve weeks.
Despite the good results achieved with the FUT method, it has been losing its importance worldwide for some time, mainly for aesthetic reasons. The wound at the donor site is closed and should no longer be visible. Unfortunately, there is often a wide and conspicuous scarring at the site, which is not convincing from an aesthetic point of view. However, the hair must have a certain length for this to happen. In the renowned clinics in Istanbul, this procedure has not been used for many years.
FUE gentle during collection
Not only in Turkey – all over the world people today work almost exclusively according to the FUE method (Follicle Unit Extraction). In this modern technique, the transplants are taken as follicular units from the donor regions – usually the back of the head and side area – with an extremely thin hollow needle. These hair follicles, known as grafts, are removed individually by hand in highly concentrated manual work by the hundreds or thousands, as required. The surgeon is supported by an instrument called a micromotor, which removes the grafts evenly and in a controlled manner. An extremely fine hollow needle is placed on the micromotor, the size and diameter of which is adapted to the thickness of the hair to be removed. The classic FUE technique is a titanium hollow needle.
FUE GOLD – the king class method
In the meantime, gold-plated hollow needles are increasingly gaining ground. This FUE GOLD technique is currently establishing itself worldwide as a precise method. The precious metal gold allows for even finer tips than is possible with titanium and also has anti-allergenic properties. This combination ensures that the removal of the follicles is uniquely gentle and prevents ugly scars from forming.
The grafts obtained are directly re-inserted manually without any detours. In contrast to the FUT method, there is no longer a distinction between the removal and implantation process. This leads to a perfect aesthetic result. In contrast to the DHI method (Direct Hair Implantation), in which grafts are inserted into a pencil and placed directly into the scalp, the gentle manual implantation ensures that the hair follicles are not damaged and therefore have a high growth rate. At the same time, the manual procedure can also be used to control the direction in which the hair grows – an application that is difficult to achieve using the pen method. Manual implantation is preferred by the certified specialists in Istanbul mainly because of the consistently high quality standards and the achievable results of a high growth rate – even if the procedure takes longer.
FUE – scar-free for a perfect short hairstyle
With the FUE method, only tiny holes are created, which rule out scarring. They are not visible to the human eye. The procedure therefore leaves the patient free to choose his or her hairstyle after the procedure. Even extreme short hairstyles are possible. However, the technique requires a larger and healthy donor area and can only be performed on short hair that has been trimmed to 2 to 4 millimetres before the operation.
Manual procedure guarantees optimal results
In the manual procedure the grafts are implanted by hand into small prepared incisions. These incisions are made with a special scalpel at a pre-defined angle to make the implantation appear discreet and natural. The insertion of each individual graft is performed by hand and – in contrast to implantation with a pen – allows precise natural alignment – a considerable advantage when combing the hairstyle later on.
The width of the incisions is adapted to the size of the grafts, whereby three column sizes are usually applied. The first smaller gaps are filled with only one hair. The medium sized version gets two hairs and the larger columns can hold up to four hairs. A decisive advantage of the manual method is the gentle aspect of the implantation. The graft must be treated gently in order not to be damaged. The follicles also adapt quickly to the new region and anchor themselves quickly in the skin.