FUT at a Glance

While many patients are interested in undergoing a FUT strip hair transplant (follicular unit transplant), they often have more questions than answers about the surgery. Here are some of the questions we are most often asked about FUT:

  • Before-FUT

Before and after FUT transplant with 2212 grafts – 6 months elapsed

How does it work?

FUT is a surgical procedure performed to transplant follicular units of hair into balding scalp areas by removing a strip of skin from the permanent zone. The size of the strip depends on the amount of grafts needed by the surgeon to achieve the desired results. After the strip is removed, the wound is closed using internal sutures that are dissolvable as well as staples or sutures that are external. The strip is then cut into groupings of 1 to 4 hairs that maintain a natural appearance once the transplant is complete. Depending on the amount of grafts needed by the patient, the surgery can take 6 to 10 hours.

Are there ideal candidates for FUT?

The ideal FUT candidate is a person who doesn’t plan to wear a short hairstyle because the linear scar that results from the surgery will have to be hidden by longer strands of native patient hair.

How many grafts will be used?

The number of grafts used during the procedure depends on the final results desired by the patient and also the density of hair desired by the patient.

How long is the recovery time?

Since each patient recovers at a different rate, the overall recovery time varies per person. Typically, the surgical wound closes in 7 to 10 days. The staples used to close the wound are removed around the 10th day. There will be some tiny crusts seen with the hair grafts for about a week. Patients often resume normal activities after the 4th day but they need to avoid bending their neck or hyperflexing since the wound is not healed completely. They also need to sleep at a 45-degree angle to help reduce the chances of swelling and use a neck pillow to prevent any movement or rubbing of the grafts while sleeping. Patients might experience some bruising, swelling and bleeding but these conditions should resolve within a few days.

How much does the surgery cost?

The total cost of FUT depends on the amount of grafts used during the surgery as well as fees charged by the surgeon and any facility or anesthesia fees.

Are there any advantages or disadvantages to FUT?

Some of the main advantages of FUT include the larger number of follicular units that can be transplanted during a single surgery which results in less of a total cost to the patient. Disadvantages include the horizontal scar that results from the strip, a longer recovery time than FUE and greater pain after the surgery than other methods of hair transplant.

How long do the results last?

Overall, FUT results should last a lifetime since the transplanted hair comes from the permanent zone of the patient. The transplanted hair will grow for about a month before entering the telogen (resting) phase and then falling out. In the next 2 months, the hair that has been transplanted will enter the anagen (growth) phase and begin to grow again. The final results are visible after 12 months or so and should appear natural enough that the average person will not be able to tell there was a transplant.

Have more questions about FUT? We’ve created a page that covers all of the above questions and even more of the most frequently asked FUT questions.