Follicular transplantation is a hair restoration surgery that is based on the fact that hair grows in groups and not as individual strands. Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) is a hair transplant technique where a strip of hair-bearing scalp (donor area) and natural groups of hair (follicular units) are extracted and transplanted into balding areas of the head (recipient area). The strip is usually removed from the back of your head as this region is more resistant to balding.
The procedure is carried out under sedation and local anesthesia. The size and position of the strip from the donor area is decided by your physician after taking into consideration the amount of hair follicles required. This is determined by your natural hair density and the size of the recipient area. Every effort is made to reduce scar size and promote hair regrowth for future transplants.
The follicular units are then prepared. Individual follicular units containing 1-4 hair follicles, nerves, blood vessels and muscle are then carefully isolated from the scalp strip under a microscope and then transferred to a holding solution that keeps them viable until transplant.
The size of the recipient area is determined by your natural hairline, facial appearance and ethnic background so as to make the transplant as natural as possible. Your doctor makes tiny holes or lateral slits to receive the extracted follicular units. These slits are made so as to orient the transplanted hair to match natural hair growth.
The procedure is usually performed in two or more sessions. No sutures or bandages are necessary after the procedure and the head can be covered by a cap or bandana. FUT is indicated where extensive hair transplant is required.