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Is it possible to stop or reverse hair loss?
Yes. In cases where an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease or scalp infection (e.g., ringworm), medications may be enough to treat hair loss or thinning hair.
Hereditary hair loss or alopecia, however, may be more challenging to treat. That’s why those with alopecia consider hair transplant procedures.
Now, if you’re curious about hair transplant surgery, it helps to know the differences between follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and follicular unit extraction (FUE). That said, let’s talk about the two types of hair transplant procedures, plus some tips on choosing the right option for you.
What Is FUE?
When people think of surgical hair restoration, they usually imagine incisions, stitches, and long recovery times. One advantage of FUE is it rarely requires stitches. A surgeon can manually harvest follicles from the donor area using a small punch tool, or a robotic hair transplant device can perform the procedure (aka NeoGraft).
Another advantage is the scarring is minimal compared to FUSS scars. The only thing that could affect your results is your choice of surgeon. Since the FUE method takes longer, it’s best to find a skilled surgeon.
You can also pick a surgeon experienced at extracting follicles from body or beard hair and uses platelet-rich plasma therapy combined with FUE.
The FUSS Method
Also known as follicular unit transplantation (FUT), the FUSS method involves removing strips of skin from the back of a patient’s head. Each strip is about 6 to 10 inches long. From these strips, the surgical team will divide them into 500 to 2,000 tiny grafts.
While FUE and FUT are both effective, some prefer the former because it’s less invasive. Though the latter obtains many grafts without shaving, it can leave behind a linear scar.
FUT is ideal for patients who desire maximum fullness. Surgeons usually recommend it for those who have balding around the crown area. If you have a soft scalp or the donor areas in your head or body have minimal hair, your surgeon will most likely suggest FUE.
What to Expect From Hair Transplant Procedures
The crucial difference between FUE and FUSS is how the follicles are harvested. After that, the procedures are the same.
Your surgeon will prepare the area by cleaning it and using anesthesia. Then, he or she will use a scalpel or needle to make tiny holes for each graft. The entire process takes about 4 to 8 hours, and full recovery can take up to 9 months.
Depending on the condition of your scalp after surgery, your doctor may prescribe pain meds, as well as antibiotics. Most hair transplant patients can return to work in less than a week after the operation.
If you notice the transplanted hair falling out, that’s normal. In a few months, new hair will grow in those areas unless the follicles died. Your surgeon might suggest another hair transplant surgery (FUE, NeoGraft or FUT) if the transplanted hair didn’t “take.”
Are You Interested in Getting a Hair Transplant?
Now that you know more about the two most common types of hair transplant procedures, which one do you think is more suited for you?
If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a hair transplant surgeon. You can also check other online resources for more information.
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