Follicular Unit Transplantation
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
Hair transplantation surgery works to replace or restore one’s lost hair and hairline. To dispel any misconceptions surrounding hair transplantation and how it varies from other thinning hair treatments, we’ve put together a short snapshot of what the follicular unit transplantation hair transplant procedure entails and what you can expect during your procedure.
At Bosley, hair transplantation surgery is a simple, outpatient procedure. Naturally, whether you are male or female, you more than likely have a lot of questions regarding your hair restoration surgery itself and how it compares in effectiveness to other thinning hair remedies available in the market.
Hair transplantation is not to be confused with hair replacement systems such as wigs and hair systems. Unlike these temporary hair replacement systems, hair transplantation surgery is a permanent solution that requires no on-going maintenance.
Step 1 - Pre-Procedure
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Hair transplantation surgery takes only one day to complete, and is performed on an out-patient basis. You’ll arrive at Bosley and go home the same day.
- Photos will be taken prior to the hair transplantation surgery to document the extent of your hair loss pre-procedure and to identify the thinning hair areas to be treated. You and your Bosley physician will then finalize the details of your procedure goals, using a surgical pen to indicate the treatment areas, hairline location and shape.
- The next step is preparation of the donor area and removal of the donor hair. The clinical team will trim the hair in the donor area, being sure to preserve the surrounding hair with rubber bands so that it will cover the donor area after the procedure.
- The Bosley nurse will then administer a local anesthesia to numb the donor area and will ensure that you are completely comfortable during the removal of the donor hair.
- Once the local anesthetic kicks in, the Bosley physician will remove the strip of tissue in the donor area at the back and side of the head. These are the permanent, lifelong hair follicles which make permanent hair restoration possible. Once the donor hair is removed, the Bosley physician will suture the donor area. The hair that was secured with rubber bands will completely conceal the suture area.
Step 2 - Preparation of the Follicular Units
Once the donor tissue is removed, the Bosley clinical staff will begin preparing the follicular units for placement. During this time, patients are typically free to relax and pass the time as they wish. For most this means napping, reading or watching movies. You are free to walk around, chat with the clinical team or use the restroom whenever you want to, while the clinical team prepares the follicular units to begin the next stage of your hair transplant procedure. The trained team will divide the donor strips into their follicle groupings, also known as units. Each unit will be comprised of one, two, three, or four hair follicles.
Step 3 - Creating the Recipient Sites and Placement of the Follicular Units
Once the follicles are divided and ready to be transplanted, you will receive another round of local anesthesia, administered to the recipient areas. Your Bosley hair transplantation physician will then make tiny incisions on your scalp, one for each of the follicular units that will be placed. Detailed attention to the location, angle and depth of each unit is of the utmost importance, as they ensure a natural-looking hairline and results. Natural results demand both clinical expertise and artistic sensitivity, the two hallmarks of Bosley hair restoration.
Under the direction of your Bosley physician, the hair transplant surgery team then places the individual follicular units into the donor recipient sites. We place one- and two-hair follicular units in the front (near the hairline) and place three- and four-hair follicular units behind the reconstructed hairline to maximize the density and coverage of the balding areas. This technique produces hair transplant results that provide a light, natural, aesthetically pleasing hairline while maximizing coverage and density. During this time, you are free to continue reading, watching TV or napping if you like.
Step 4 - Post Procedure
Once all of the follicular units have been placed, your Bosley physician will inspect the newly placed grafts to ensure proper placement. When the hair restoration surgery is complete, your clinical team will provide written and oral post operative instructions. These include instructions on how to care for your transplant sites, required medication for sleep and any discomfort that you might have, as well as optional medication to take in the days following your hair transplant procedure. We’ll encourage you to sleep with your head elevated with pillows for the first few nights after the procedure.
The day following your hair transplant surgery, Bosley patients are encouraged to return to have their hair washed and to have the recipient sites and donor area inspected. If the patient is unable to return to the Bosley offices, they are instructed on how best to wash their hair at home. A this time, some soreness, tightness and possibly some numbness are normal and to be expected. Most patients find that they are able to return to work the next day, while others may elect to relax at home for an additional day or two.
In the next few days, some scabbing in the recipient sites may be present, as well as moderate redness. Swelling may also appear on the forehead, but this is typically rare. However, soreness and numbness in the donor area should begin to disappear in the days following the procedure. While some patients report a sensation similar to that of a mild sunburn in the recipient areas following the procedure, there is generally little or no discomfort in the recipient area after the first few days following the procedure.
A week after the hair restoration surgery, any swelling and redness usually will have subsided.