There are more options for hair restoration than ever before. It’s no longer necessary to accept hair loss as a given… and there are both surgical and nonsurgical methods to restore lost hair.

Sometimes the sheer number of procedures and methods can be overwhelming, so let’s examine some of the available options. Today, we will discuss two common surgical transplantation processes – follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) – and compare how they work and who can benefit.

What Is FUT?

Follicular Unit Transplant involves the surgical removal of a small strip of skin from a hair-producing location on your scalp. The surgical team then dissects the hair follicles from the excised strip of scalp, and the individual follicles are then transplanted into the areas of thinning hair. This type of surgery takes between four to eight hours – and is done with local anesthesia to numb the scalp.

FUT is a good option when:

  1. The patient has advanced hair loss and needs the most hair possible from a single procedure
  2. The patient has advanced hair loss and will likely need a second procedure for either coverage or density goals
  3. The patient is on the younger end of the age spectrum and may require additional transplants in the future

FUT has a shorter operation time than FUE… and tends to be less expensive. Additionally, it is unnecessary to trim the donor hair short in this procedure. So, for patients wishing for a more discreet option, an FUT procedure has a number of advantages. On the downside, it has a longer healing time than FUE and may cause more pain as well as larger areas of scarring.

What is FUE?

Follicular Unit Extraction is when a surgeon harvests individual follicles from the scalp with microscopic circular incisions. This can be done manually or with robotic assistance (as in the ARTAS® procedure). Like FUT, it is done with a local anesthetic. The procedure can be performed in several two to four-hour sessions – or in a single, longer session.

FUE is an excellent option for those with thinning or balding on the top or front of their head… provided they have adequate density and stability of hair in a donor area elsewhere.

In recent years, FUE has become more common than FUT. Even though it is more expensive, it has many advantages. FUE has a faster healing time and a lower risk of undesired scarring than FUT.

Which Is More Expensive, FUT or FUE?

Because follicles are removed individually in FUE, it is more time-consuming and – therefore – generally more expensive than FUT. In both surgeries, the cost depends on the amount of hair being transplanted, the experience level of your surgeon, and the clinic’s location and overhead. If you need to travel for your surgery or miss work, you will need to factor those expenses into your overall cost.

While the size of the procedure does influence the price, it is not the sole determining factor for us here at the Hair Center of Nebraska. Neither is the opportunity to go home early an incentive for us to suggest one method over another. Hair transplants are expensive. There’s no getting around that.

While many patients are cost-conscious and medical tourism (especially for aesthetic procedures) is at an all-time high, we have yet to meet anyone who opts for a “discount aesthetic surgery” option. Hair transplants – when done right – can last a lifetime. Even though money is a significant factor in the decision for most patients, it is still a medical decision.

At the Hair Center of Nebraska, we are entirely focused on outcomes and will guide you in the decision-making process to make the best medical decision. That’s always the right decision.

Which Procedure Is Right For Me, FUT or FUE?

Patients often have an idea of which procedure they would prefer, but unfortunately that opinion is often the result of successful marketing campaigns rather than an informed medical opinion. Imagine taking a poll and asking patients if in five years they will be more concerned with the appearance and outcome of the procedure or how the procedure was performed? Most patients would likely take the quality outcome.

A physician who specializes in hair restoration should perform a detailed history and physical exam during the consultation… including a microscopic analysis of the hair and scalp. In doing so, a good physician will be able to pick up on subtle signs and indicators that help guide their decision as to which procedure is going to yield the best results.

The most important takeaway from comparing surgical techniques is this: At the end of the day, the exact same thing is happening – the transplantation of individual hair follicles. The primary difference is the method of harvesting those follicles. Each method has advantages, but the advantages are not intrinsic to the method. They are determined by the patient… and only an experienced hair surgeon can help you make the right decision.

Hair Center of Nebraska Helps You Make the Choice That’s Right for YOU

If you are experiencing hair loss, contact the Hair Center of Nebraska for a full hair and scalp analysis today. By setting up a consultation, you are taking the first step toward proper hair restoration and beginning a journey to a better life. Contact us today to set up an appointment.