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FUE, FUT and hair transplant scar repair

The advanced FUE hair transplant technique keeps growing in demand, and has been the method of choice of several celebrities. Minimally invasive with virtually undetectable scarring, the procedures popularity is unsurprising. The innovative technique highly contrasts to the traditional FUT method, still used by many clinics, particularly in terms of the scarring and recovery involved.

Highlighting the importance of careful selection of hair transplant procedure, and surgeon, however, exposed and obvious scarring is common after poor FUE hair transplants or FUT procedures, leading many to look into hair transplant scar repair.

The Private Clinic, a multi-award winning cosmetic surgery provider and world leader in the FUE procedure, touch on this topic, explaining what you need to know about the FUE hair transplant, how exactly it compares to FUT, and explores FUE hair transplant surgery for hair transplant scar repair.

FUE explained

An FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction procedure is a highly specialised hair transplant method, favoured as a result of its high quality, natural-looking results, virtually undetectable scarring, minimally-invasive nature and low recovery time required. The industry leading treatment involves taking healthy individual hair follicles from a donor area on the patients scalp. This is typically taken from the back of the head, where hair is plentiful and resistant to DHT – the most frequent cause of male pattern baldness. The individual follicles are subsequently implanted into balding areas of the head. Hairs transplanted from your donor region can successfully root due to being from your own head.  

*Results shown are by The Private Clinic’s Hair Transplant expert, Dr Raghu Reddy, specialised within Hair Restoration, Hair Loss and Hair Transplant procedures, member of ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) and pioneer of significant advancements in the FUE technique.

Dr Reddy has an excellent reputation for FUE hair transplants, allowing him to develop a portfolio of international hair transplant patients which includes high-profile Premier League footballers. Dr Reddy is available for FUE hair transplant consultations and procedures at The Private Clinic Harley Street London and The Private Clinic Bristol.

FUE vs. FUT hair transplants

Scarring: FUT, the traditional hair transplant method, involves surgical removal of a strip of scalp from the centre of the chosen donor area. The donor area is closed with stitches, and hairs are dissected from the tissue. Tiny incision sites are made for inserting the new hair grafts. This leaves a linear scar towards the back of your head, visible with short hair, and putting you at risk of thickened, stretched or keloid scars. With FUE hair transplants, scarring is very minimal in comparison and virtually undetectable. Only when the donor area is shaved very short, you may see very small circular scars appearing as small white dots. The slenderness and accuracy of the punch device means only limited trauma to the area is created, and the small diameter of the puncture holes created, means they will heal swiftly, making them hardly visible to the eye.

Healing and recovery: With FUT procedures, you might experience soreness, discomfort and numbness of the area around the FUT incision line, of which will have been closed with staples or degradable sutures. By the third week, these should have gone, although, it can be up to approximately 10 months before your donor area’s laxity is restored, and your scalp has the feeling it used to. Following FUE procedures, there is minimal discomfort. There may be minor swelling, itchiness and soreness as the small puncture holes heal. However, this is a much faster process than healing after FUT.

Exercise: In terms of returning to exercise, with FUT, strenuous exercise could stretch or put pressure on the back of your scalp. Therefore, it is recommended to be avoided for the next month or two. With FUE, only a couple of days, or 14 at the most is required, until you can return to such exercise. Although, your surgeon will provide advice based on the extent of your hair transplant procedure, and your exercise routine.

FUE for hair transplant scar repair

A significant proportion of hair transplant patients find they are left with an exposed or large hair transplant scar, particularly obvious with shorter hair, after a previous FUT hair transplant, or from a poor hair transplant treatment, leading to them to seek scar repair. In fact, at The Private Clinic, 30% of Hair Transplant patients require such scar correction, showing how important it is to choose a highly experienced expert surgeon and best technique for you, the first time around.

An effective scar repair method is FUE hair transplant surgery, offered by expert Hair Transplant Surgeons at The Private clinic, and designed to disguise scars from previous hair restoration. The procedure adds hair, and provides better coverage, but does not remove the scar. Therefore, this procedure is best for those suffering with reduced hair growth or baldness.

A highly skilled technique, FUE hair transplant surgery necessitates an in-depth scalp examination. There are also several contradictions to consider that may impact the overall result. These include the scar thickness, blood supply to the scar, and any background inflammatory conditions. There are a large range of scar types, varying in thickness and size. Hypertrophic scars are very thick in comparison to much thinner Atrophic scars, with thin scars often not being able to hold the follicles transplanted in FUE. Even though thick hypertrophic scars would seem to be the preferred option, they can present problems too. Thick scar tissue may limit access to vessels. For a follicle to grow and also survive, it will require an adequate blood supply. If access to this is however, compromised, it may cause the implanted follicle to die, and result in an unsuccessful hair transplant.

It is also important to note the survival rate of the follicles of hair within scar tissue, will be lower than follicles transplanted to healthy skin. Ensuring the scarring area is suitable for holding these hair follicles should be one of the first things your hair transplant surgeon assesses.

In a consultation, your FUE surgeon should also ask about your medical history. If you have an inflammatory disease, The Private Clinic, for example would advise waiting until at least 2 years after the disease has been inactive.

The Private Clinic

The Private Clinic offer highly skilled and experienced FUE hair transplant specialists, with a world-class reputation in the FUE technique. The cosmetic groups sought after hair restoration surgeons treat hundreds of hair transplant patients every year, achieving outstanding natural-looking, densely packed results, and receiving excellent feedback from patients. To book a FUE Hair Transplant consultation with a Hair Transplant Patient Advisor or expert Hair Transplant Surgeon, please call 0333 920 9135 or book via their FUE Hair Transplant website. Patient Advisor Consultations are available nationwide. Hair Transplant surgeon consultations and procedures are available at The Private Clinic in Harley Street London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Glasgow and Northampton.

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