Does Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Or Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) Yield A Greater Number Of Grafts?
I’m wondering, if a hair loss patient was only going to undergo one type of hair transplant surgery, either follicular unit extraction (FUE) or follicular unit transplantation (FUT), which procedure would yield the greatest number of grafts in the long-term (meaning multiple procedures over the entire duration of a hair restoration journey)? Which procedure (if given the option) should I choose?
Every patient is so very different that the answer to the question varies and there is no definitive solution for every hair transplant patient. Unfortunately, hair transplantation is not an exact science.
For example, I know some patients who have received 3000-4000 follicular unit grafts via FUE over multiple sessions very successfully because they possessed the donor supply, surface area, and the appropriate physiology to enable safe extractions over a large enough area without visible scaring. On the other hand, something like 7000+ grafts (over multiple sessions) via FUE is certainly a very rare and individual case, but has been accomplished many times through FUT operations. Also, this would definitely be the exception and not the rule, and basing hypothetical FUE grafts numbers on this one case along is highly inaccurate and misleading (in my honest opinion).
Like follicular unit transplantation (FUT) There will be a point that an individual will run out of suitable FUE donor grafts. How many grafts ultimately varies from patient to patient. Will that number enable you to reach your goal … or will you fall short? I think this is why this debate will forever go on and on (which procedure yields more grafts, which is best for patients, creates better results, etc). You have people who advocate FUT (and say it offers greater graft yields) and those who believe FUE is the better option and allows for a higher number of grafts. Recently, I’ve also noticed an increase in the number of patients who have never had surgery and ideally want only FUE (although FUT could be more appropriate). I’ve had both and they both have their place in my opinion.
Hair is like money and you will always want more and might very well need it as loss progresses, so be aware of that. Always consider the long term plan and whether your supply is there to meet your goal. Bare in mind your goal however might very well change, as this is often the case.
My advice would be to ask about a FUE session and see if you’re eligible for FUE initially – gain a feel for it and see if your physiology lends itself to FUE. Discuss a possible plan of action that you are happy to commit to initially and see if follicular unit extraction works out. Remember, you will not know anything until your scalp is worked on, and not everyone is a candidate for FUE.
Everyone is so very different so the question can’t be answered accurately. Ask yourself this though – why are there not numerous FUE mega sessions (3000 – 4000+) availabe to view from every FUE doc, like there are strip results? This could be viewed as a sign that large FUE sessions simply are not as refined as FUT sessions (at this time). Technically, it’s not possible to give a general answer to which will provide a greater overall number of grafts because each patient is different. Lastly, I highly suggest finding and taking the advice of a skilled hair transplant surgeon. These are the individuals who can best analyze your physiology and determine which type of operation fits your overall goals.
Hope this helps,
Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc
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