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Which Method Of Hair Transplant Is Better?

This is the one of the most frequently asked questions. It interests both patients and young colleagues, who come on training programs to Talizi. Experienced hair transplantologists also open with this question at international conferences. We believe that the answer to this question doesn’t actually exist. Moreover, we consider that posing the question this way is incorrect. We have extensive experience with each method (FUT method since 1998; FUE method since 2003; BHT method since 2006; Long Hair Transplant since 2011), and we don't have a preference for any one method over the other. We apply all methods of hair transplant, and all of them yield good results. Of course, each of them has strong and weak sides, indications and contraindications.

FUT (The Strip Method)

Today, this method of hair transplant is the most common. Grafts are extracted from a rag of skin, which is cut out from the back of the head.

Advantages

  • Speed: An experienced, multiple-person surgical team is capable of transplanting a large quantity of grafts, even within only three or four hours.
  • Quantity: It is possible to transplant a greater number of grafts by the Strip method than by other methods.
  • Efficiency: At an equal donor stock, the Strip method allows the use of the donor zone more effectively than other methods. The Strip method allows the transplantation of more grafts during one or several surgeries. For example, in cases of high degrees of baldness (VI–VII), it is possible to extract 7000–12000 grafts by the Strip method from the back of the head, versus only 4000–6000 grafts by the FUE method.
  • Minimized Transsection: The risk of follicle damage in the case of a high-quality surgery conducted by the Strip method is minimal – less than 3%.
  • Graft Survival Rate: In the case of the Strip method, the survival rate of grafts during the surgery is about 100%.
  • Price: During a hair transplant surgery conducted by the Strip method, all grafts are prepared by assistants, rather than surgeons; therefore, the cost of the transplant is lower.

Disadvantages

  • Scarring: A surgery with the Strip method leaves a scar on the back of the head. Though modern methods allow making the scar virtually imperceptible, if the patient has a very short haircut or shaven head, the scar is visible.
  • Discomfort: This method has a comparatively uncomfortable post-surgical period (a little pain and feeling of tension on the back of the head, restriction of physical activity for the first 2–3 post-surgical weeks).

FUE (Follicular Units Extraction) or Seamless Method of Hair Transplant

FUE method is a less invasive method of hair transplant. Separate follicular units are extracted one by one, leaving no scars.

Advantages

  • No Scarring: The main advantage of the FUE method is the absence of a scar on the back of the head after the surgery. Surgical marks are almost imperceptible, even with very short hair styles, sometimes even on the shaven head.
  • Less Discomfort: The FUE method is much less invasive and the post-surgical discomfort after the FUE procedures is less intense.
  • More Donor Zones: When using the FUE method in the case of a shortage of donor material from an occipital zone, it is possible to use other donor zones (beard, breast, feet, and groin).
  • More Hairs: Grafts extracted by the FUE method contain more hairs. This is a result of a targeted graft extraction, in which the surgeon aims for and extracts the multi-hair grafts, containing three to four hair roots. During the FUE procedure carried out by an experienced surgeon, the average number of hairs in a graft is three, versus two when using the Strip procedure.

Disadvantages

  • Lengthier Procedure: The FUE procedure lasts longer, because extraction of each graft happens separately.
  • Less Quantity of Grafts: The FUE method allows the extraction of a smaller quantity of grafts from the back of the head. The FUE method demands extensive and dense donor zones.
  • Transsection: During FUE hair transplant, the transsection rate is higher. In adverse events, the transsection rate can reach 10–15%.
  • Graft Survival Rate: FUE grafts are exposed to greater traumatization in the course of extraction and planting. This can lead to a lower survival rate of the grafts.
  • Price: As the FUE procedure is conducted mostly by the surgeon, the price of the surgery is higher. If the price of the FUE procedure is low, one can assume that the surgery is performed not by doctors, but by assistants, and the quality of the hair transplant may be affected. Also, this is a violation of the law in most countries.

LHT (Long Hair Transplant)

This method is a perfected version of the Strip method, during which grafts are extracted and transplanted with long (38 cm or longer) hairs.

Transplant of long hair has all of the advantages that characterize the Strip method (speed, large number of grafts, optimal use of the donor zone, low damage rate, high survival rate of the transplanted grafts), and also additional benefits.

During a hair transplantation using the traditional Strip or the FUE method, the surgeon implants grafts relying on his own experience and preliminary plan of transplantation. In reality, this is a blind process; the surgeon makes apertures with the density and angle he or she considers to be necessary, and assistants plant the grafts, which start to grow in after three months. How hair will grow and what result will be achieved is only imaginable, relying on the surgeon’s own experience. Neither the surgeon, nor his assistants, nor the patient can predict the result. During a Long Hair Transplant procedure, the surgeon can anticipate the results and can therefore distribute the donor material more precisely, defining the direction of hair growth and density of hair and producing the most natural result.

Advantages

  • As with the Strip method, LHT has the advantages of speed, quantity, efficiency, minimal transsection, and high graft survival rates.
  • Immediate Results: Transplant of long hair gives the chance to see the result immediately following the surgery. It is hard to describe that joy which is experienced by the patient when he or she looks into a mirror after the surgery. These positive emotions are an ideal stimulus of successful growth of the transplanted hair.
  • Absence of Surgical Marks: After the hair transplant, the patient leaves the clinic with the final result – with brushed hair and without any traces of surgery. Often, our patients go to business meetings or attend conferences immediately following the Long Hair Transplant.
  • Definition of the Result: As the patient sees the result immediately after the surgery, he or she can compare this result with the final one in a year and learn what percentage of hair grew out.
  • Visual Control: As the surgeon can see the hairs in a course of the procedure, he can distribute grafts more accurately for the best result. Also, the surgeon visually controls the direction of growth of the hairs, producing a desirable hair style.

Disadvantages

  • Scarring: Transplant of long hair, as well as using the Strip technique, leaves a scar on the back of the head. However, modern methods make it almost imperceptible, especially under long hair.
  • Price: Transplant of long hair demands high professionalism and great experience on the part of the surgeon and assistants. It is a much more labor-intensive process in comparison with the Strip and is, therefore, more expensive.

From all of the above-mentioned information, it is obvious that the Strip method is inappropriate for patients with a tendency for the formation of keloid and hypertrophic scars, and also for those patients who plan to shave their heads after their hair transplants or to have very short hairstyles. The Seamless FUE technique is indicated for these patients.

On the contrary, the Strip method is recommended to patients who plan to carry long hair styles, especially those starting at high degrees of baldness (VVII).

If immediate results are desired, maximum naturalness and total absence of post-surgical marks are the most important for the patient, and he or she doesn't plan to wear very short haircuts, the Long Hair Transplant method is an ideal option.

The indication for the BHT (Body Hair Transplant) is insufficient donor stock on the back of the head at high levels of hair loss.

 

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