There are 2 major different technical methods of hair transplant:
- Conventional graft harvesting technique: FUT technique (scalp strip method)
- Minimally invasive graft harvesting technique: FUE technique.
Storage and placement of grafts are essentially identical in techniques. The biggest difference and the crucial one, between the various hair transplant methods is seen in the extraction technique.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) Technique:
For harvesting grafts, a 10-20 cm long and 2-3 cm wide scalp strip is removed from donor area and dissected into grafts (FUs).
Major disadvantages of FUT: Strip method causes an extensive damage to the donor area and leaves a linear scar. Healing is slow and delayed. Scalp strip provides an insufficient number of grafts for advanced hair losses. FUT grafts are bulky and may produce an unnatural hairline.
- FUT technique is still used, even advocated by some Western clinics; however, sooner or later it will totally disappear from the practice in the modern era of hair transplants.
- Dr. Maral totally eliminated FUT-strip method from his practice years ago; since it is very invasive method with many drawbacks compared with the modern, minimally-invasive FUE techniques.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) Technique:
Grafts (FUs) are individually extracted from donor area using very thin (0.6 to 0.8 mm), specially designed extraction punches.
There are 2 different techniques of FUE hair transplant for graft harvesting:
- Manual FUE.
- Micromotor-assisted FUE.
Manual FUE uses hand power to extract the FUs. It was the first FUE technique in the earlier years of FUE. Later, manual extraction was largely replaced by the micromotor-assisted graft harvesting technique (mFUE). mFUE is the most commonly used FUE technique today and adopted by more than 95% of the FUE clinics.
Some technical variations of FUE for opening the incisions and graft placement into the recipient areas:
- Slit technique.
- Sapphire-tip slit techique.
- DHI (direct hair implantation) using special Choi implanters.