What Are the Pros and Cons of FUE Transplants?

December 29, 2023

Understanding the Pros and Cons of FUE Transplants

There are two main kinds of hair transplant procedures that patients can undergo from a hair transplant surgeon. The procedures are FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant), and the FUE hair transplant (Follicular Unit Extraction). Depending on your specific situation, your hair transplant doctor may not recommend FUE and may instead recommend an FUT procedure. On the other hand, the exact opposite may be true as well. That’s why it’s so important to understand the pros and cons of FUE transplants and FUT strip surgery.

Follicular Unit Transplantation is typically the best choice for those patients looking for a budget-friendly hair replacement option, especially for those in need of a large number of grafts. However, it’s also not everyone’s cup of tea due to the visible scar that results from the FUT hair transplant procedure. Additionally, not all patients are working with the same number of hair follicles that are usable for the hair restoration treatment they may prefer. After all, everyone is different and many factors affect transplanted hair grafts and their ability to restore a range of hairlines.

Ya, it can get complicated. There’s a lot to know and to keep in mind when you’re looking for the right hair transplant clinic. But what else should you know about the differences between FUE and FUT techniques in order to make the best hair restoration decision for your particular hair loss scenario? Will both FUE treatment and FUT hair transplant options work for everyone equally or is there a surgical method that provides a better option when comparing the two? Let’s explore the pros and cons of both hair transplantation procedures.

Consultations help patients understand pros and cons of hair transplants

Advantages of FUE Transplants

FUE hair transplants are definitely the favorite hair restoration option for many hair loss patients as well as for hair restoration doctors all over the world. And there are a number of reasons for this. For patients with healthy hair that seems to be receding but remains thick on the back and sides, FUE presents a great opportunity for hair transplant surgery as hair grafts can be extracted without leaving thin patches with visibly missing hair.

First, let’s talk about the advantages of FUE transplants so you can decide which procedure may be best for you.

The Many Advantages Worth Noting for FUE Procedures

  • Faster Healing Time – The donor area made by small holes created through the FUE; heals in a shorter window of time compared to an FUT transplant. People prefer this surgical method over FUT due to FUE’s minimally invasive nature. That’s because individual hair follicles are extracted compared with FUT’s requirement to remove a large strip of tissue from the head.

  • No Linear Scar in Donor Area: The degree to which this depends on the individual. Those who have a history of keloids and/or thickened or stretched scars will find this to be a more favorable option than FUT. Individuals who wear their hair short will also find that the scar is more visible with FUT than with FUE procedures.

  • Less Discomfort Following Procedure: FUE procedures result in virtually no pain or discomfort afterward.

  • Preferred for Patients with Greater Risk of Donor Scarring: This includes younger and muscular/athletic patients as well as those with very tight or loose scalps, or patients with a history of keloid scarring or poor healing.

  • Strenuous Exercise and Active Lifestyle Allowed Immediately After: Following an FUT procedure, the doctor will generally advise the patient to completely cease or severely limit exercise due to the fact that it may increase the size of the donor scar. Because the small holes created during the FUE procedure do not widen and heal quickly, there is no risk of this occurring.

  • May Be Used for Harvesting Non-Scalp Hair: Beard or body hair transplants can be done with FUE procedures.

  • Finer Hair May Be Harvested: An example is from the nape of the neck, such as for use in the eyebrows or hairline.

  • Can Correct Scarring From FUT Procedure: Some FUE procedures are follow-ups to FUT procedures to cover up scarring if it occurs.

  • Can Be Performed if the Scalp is Too Tight for FUT Procedure: This often occurs when a patient has undergone multiple FUT procedures. This leaves them unable to perform another FUT procedure and may instead choose an FUE procedure.

Satisfied FUE hair transplant patient

Disadvantages of FUE Transplants

On the other hand, others with severe hair loss may not have enough hair to opt for a Follicular Unit Extraction and may need an FUT instead. While the advantages inspire many individuals to choose FUE, the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages for some individuals. Your hair transplant doctor can help you decide. Some disadvantages include:

  • More Expensive: FUE procedures are more expensive. This is because they take more time to perform for a hair transplant surgeon. Additionally, they require more expensive machinery if you go to clinics that use robots. However, Best Hair Transplant does NOT utilize robots. Instead, we use a specially-trained staff and surgeon.

  • FUT Has a Stronger Graft Quality: There is a greater rate of follicular transection (graft damage) for FUE procedures. Sometimes the grafts are lower density and are more fragile.

  • Subsequent FUE Procedures Cause Additional Scarring and Minimize Donor Density: Regardless of how many FUT procedures you perform, you will only ever have one scar whereas FUE procedures increase scarring each time.

  • Shaving is Necessary for Large Transplant Sessions: It may take some time for the donor hair to grow in and camouflage this effect.

  • Maximum Follicular Unit Graft Yield can be lower than with FUT: fewer grafts may mean less of an improvement than with FUT in some situations. Subsequent FUE sessions are also more difficult due to the scarring and distortion of the donor scalp.

  • Sub-optimal Growth May Occur: This is due to the increased amount of time FUE grafts are outside of the body.

  • More Than One Session is Often Needed: This is due to the fact that the extraction process is slower than strip harvesting. FUE procedures generally take place over one or two days and longer for more extensive work. Each person is different, however larger sessions or

  • Both FUE and FUT Procedures May Eventually Reveal Scarring: Long-term, eventually scarring may begin to slightly appear. If the punches are too large, small round dots may show through the donor site for FUE patients.


Is FUT Any Better for Me Than FUE?

On the other hand, a line strip scar is an unavoidable part of FUT patients. This is because the FUT strip method requires the removal of skin tissue from the back of the head and the transplantation of dissected grafts into the recipient site. This results in visible scarring on the back of the scalp. This long scar can be hidden with certain hairstyles and a good surgeon who knows how to minimize scarring can actually hide it quite well.

Furthermore, the recovery time of FUT is longer than that of FUE for most people as small holes punched during FUE are able to heal much faster than the strip technique removal of a tissue section full of donor hairs. With FUT, expect stitches to join the two portions of your scalp. Expect more pain and discomfort as well. Additionally, other factors can make FUT a better option or worse option. This is best discussed in depth during your personal consultation with your LA hair transplant doctor.

With both options, individual follicles are harvested and implanted into the recipient area where hairs are thin or completely missing before the procedure. The second half of a hair transplant is nearly identical once the grafts have been harvested and healthy hair follicles are ready for placement.

Compared with FUE treatment options, FUT hair transplantation may not be the best option for you. Even if you’re looking to save money and get more grafts for less money, you may simply not benefit from the procedure in the same ways a FUE surgery might provide. Either way, as long as your doctor analyzes and recommends the best course of action to combat your hair loss, new hair will grow quickly and you’ll see results only achievable with hair restoration surgery.

Is FUE the right procedure for your hair loss situation?

Choose Best Hair Transplant

The best way to decide between an FUE and an FUT procedure is to consult with your hair transplant doctor about your options. Best Hair Transplant offers free in-office & virtual consultations and is happy to speak with you today! We’ll help you sort through all the misinformation, answer questions, and discuss the pros and cons of FUE transplants so you can make the best choice for your situation.

Best Hair Transplant is number one in hair transplant procedures and hair-restoring technology such as Laser Cap Me. We provide the best quality hair transplant and, in virtually all cases, we’re the best priced. For a free consultation regarding your options, contact us today at 213-403-0455.

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