Torn between internet research results and advertisements, hair transplant patients are often lost on what to choose. Making the decision to undergo surgery was the easy part, but choosing the right hair transplant technique is a whole different story. Specially with the number of methods currently being employed compared to information posted about them, it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
However, you do not need to worry anymore, in this article we will thoroughly discuss all the methods so that by the end, all confusion related to hair transplant techniques is everything but existent.
Standard hair transplant techniques
Despite the range of hair transplant techniques currently being employed, there are only TWO standard methods: follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Everything else is a variant of either one of the aforementioned techniques; we’ll get into that in a second. Both FUE and FUT have a similar process overview: both include extraction of hair from donor sites, preservation of the extracted grafts, creation of incisions on recipient sites, and finally implantation. So how do they differ? The difference is in the extraction process.
Extraction of grafts
→ FUT hair transplant: in FUT, to extract the grafts, a surgeon will have to surgically excise the donor region and later dissect the strip to harvest the units. The excision is then stitched, and the piece is dismembered under a microscope. This method leaves a linear scar in the donor region..
→ FUE hair transplant: In FUE, to extract grafts, a surgeon will utilize a motor punch to harvest individual graft separately. The micro size of the punch does not leave behind any scarring as opposed to FUT.
This step is the same in both FUE and FUT. Using a blade, your surgeon will create incisions to prepare the site for implantation. The number of incisions depends entirely on the number of grafts to implant.
This procedure is also the same in both FUE and FUT. Once the recipient site is ready, grafts will be carefully inserted in the incision. Marking by that, the end of the surgical procedure.
Aside from procedural differences, or in other words, as a result of these procedural differences; FUE is more popular among doctors and patients alike. With FUE there is no linear scar or any scarring at all. In addition to that, it allows for shorter recovery periods and lower risks of infection. Moreover, with FUE, any area on the body can work as a donor region. This is especially helpful when patients want to undergo hair transplantation on the face or other body regions. All these perks are, of course, a product of its minimally invasive nature. Given all that, FUE comes at a higher cost than FUT in the UK so that it is not within the common man’s budget. However, there are other alternatives to the UK that offer a high quality to cost hair transplantation such as Turkey.
Variants of the standard methods
As we stated previously, there are only two standard hair transplant techniques. Other techniques are in reality variants of the standards with minor differences in equipment. To be precise, there are only variants of FUE technique, seeing as it is the most popular technique, it is always prone to advancement. FUT, on the other hand, is an outdated technique that is almost extinct on the market and is never subject for development. The vast majority of these techniques are exclusively offered by clinics in Turkey, given its the hair transplant capital of the world. Without further ado, the developed FUE hair transplant techniques are currently Sapphire FUE and DHI Choi FUE.
The Sapphire FUE follows the same procedure to the dot as the standard FUE hair transplant technique. The difference relies upon the equipment used and the butterfly effect this minor change initiates. Sapphire FUE uses blades made from the sapphire gemstone. So while this may seem like a trivial change, the use of sapphire to make the edge gravely impacts the structure. Sapphire blades have a V-shaped end in comparison to the U-shaped end in regular steel blades. As a result, the sharper end of sapphire allows surgeons to create more immaculate incisions at a much higher rate. With the increased level of precision in Sapphire FUE, there is no risk of damaging surrounding tissue. Moreover, healing rates are folds quicker with Sapphire FUE as a result of its sharp blade end.
DHI Choi Technique
Similarly, DHI Choi FUE replicates every step of the FUE hair transplant technique excluding incision and implantation. In DHI, the last two steps are merged into one. This technique employs a pen-like needle that opens channels and simultaneously implants grafts. During surgery, nurses usually load the pen with grafts where the surgeon will then use it to make incisions. Once the needle pin is inserted, the surgeon will load the grafts. This makes the process faster, but since it exposes the delicate grafts to extreme action; there is an increased risk of damaging the grafts leading to poor results.
Although the FUE technique along with its variants come at a higher cost, the value and satisfaction gained from them outweigh the financial factor. In other words, patients are getting value for their money.
By now, you have made it through the most critical parts of the hair transplant process such as candidacy, choosing the right clinic, and now choosing the right treatment. However, it does not end here, next on the chain of events is becoming familair with.