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Is Strip (FUT) Hair Transplant Surgery A Good Option?

While FUE hair transplant surgery has come a long way and is now considered the “gold standard” among many marketing hair transplant surgery, is it really the best option for every patient? Spencer Kobren and IAHRS accepted member Marc Dauer, M.D. discuss.

Marc Dauer, MD:  So, with all the hype surrounding FUE, and a lot of it is warranted because FUE can be an amazing procedure when it's performed properly, is there still a place for FUT in today's world?

Spencer Kobren: I would say, and I know you're about to say I'm sure, that of course there is. I think it's a ... everyone is doing patients a tremendous disservice by not learning how to do FUT, not having infrastructure to perform FUT, and not offering it as an option.

Marc Dauer, MD: So what I do, when I meet every prospective patient, is explain to them in-depth the pros and cons of both FUT versus FUE. Because if I see a guy who's in his 40s or 50s and never cuts his hair really short and has a severe form of hair loss, I'm gonna have him think long and hard about doing an FUT procedure. Because overall, you'll get more donor hair if you do a couple FUTs and then subsequently FUE above and below that strip scar. That's how you maximize your donor potential and it can actually be up to maybe even 25% more donor potential, which is a big deal if you're heading towards a Norwood 6 or a Norwood 7. You need every single graft you can get and oftentimes, FUE won't give you enough grafts to cover a whole head in a situation like that.

Spencer Kobren: Well, and I say this all the time and I repeat myself but, I mean, how are you gonna get 100% of that sweet spot with FUE? You can't.

Marc Dauer, MD: Right.

Spencer Kobren: You just can't do it. 

Marc Dauer, MD: Right, and so I will definitely educate those patients and have them think long and hard about it. About considering FUT at least to start with and then subsequently doing the FUE telling them that they will have more donor hair long-term to harvest if they go that route. Now if they say to me, "No, I absolutely don't want to do it." That's fine, I'm okay with that but at least I gave them that information and let them make that educated decision. The other thing I'm hearing a lot from patients, especially those doing a lot of research on the internet, is that FUT gives you better result than FUE. I think the reason why that's out there is because you've got a lot of basically unskilled practitioners performing FUE and then those are putting out bad results. Then those people are going online saying, "Hey, I had a horrible result with FUE."

Spencer Kobren: Yeah, I mean the mantra is you get lower yield in general with FUE. I think the reason you get lower yield in general with FUE is exactly what you just expressed.

Marc Dauer, MD: Right, I think that if an FUE procedure is done really well versus an FUT procedure; same number of grafts, you can get just as good a result with FUE versus FUT. 

 

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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.