What Is Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)?
It is a transplant technique using grafts containing 1-4 hair groupings. It is the most common technique in modern hair restoration. Because the grafts are small and average 2.1-2.3 hairs, large numbers of grafts are needed to move the thousands of hair that most patients want. It is one of the fundamental procedures in modern hair restoration. Like all surgery, results vary depending on the skill of the medical team.
What Is the Difference Between FUT and MFUG?
FUT uses grafts containing 1-4 hairs. Hair grows in these groupings in the scalp and when separated, becomes follicular unit grafts. Multi-follicular-unit grafts (MFUG) combine 2 or 3 of the groupings into each graft, still with a natural configuration. In some patients this allows more hair to be transplanted into an area in each procedure and reduces cost. MFUGs are never used for some areas, like the hairline, and are always combined with FUT. Like all surgery, results vary depending on the skill of the medical team. MFUG transplanting is technically difficult, and not performed by most transplant physicians. Dr. Elliott is an expert in both methods and can combine the two, or use FUT only to get you where you need to go.
I Only Want What Will Look Natural.
Of course in expert hands, your hair transplant procedure will give you natural results.
If FUT Is the Most Popular, Why Bother With MFUG?
To get more coverage and hair volume. When you are considering hair transplants, Dr. Elliott recommends keeping two goals in mind: naturalness and coverage. Unnatural transplants can be worse than being bald and are why Dr. Elliott spends so much time and effort on repair for patients who are in this situation. Coverage means having enough hair and this is really a matter of how much hair gets moved into an area. The ideal is a natural result with great coverage. For many patients, multi-unit grafting moves more hair per procedure, giving increased coverage, without losing the natural appearance. The key is realizing which procedure design is best for each patient and their goals.
Can You Get Good Coverage With FUT?
Of course, but because the grafts each contain less hair, it takes a lot more grafts to move any amount of hair. Decide how much hair you need and which approach will work for you. Dr. Elliott commonly transplants 6000 or more hairs per procedure with MFUG. This would require nearly 3000 follicular units. FUT procedures of 3000 grafts or more are available, but at an increased cost relative to combination grafting procedures. Patients who are good candidates for combination grafting may choose to use some MFUGs as part of their plan.
Most of the Reading and Research I Have Done Suggests That FUT Is the Way to Go.
It is the most common method in use today and is the most heavily advertised. It is a wonderful technique. Just realize that there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. Dr. Elliott can do either procedure for you or a combination of both. You owe yourself the time to see someone who has had MFUG and FUT transplantation from an expert and make the comparison. Decide for yourself. That’s the great thing about having a choice.
Sounds a Little Confusing. How Do I Decide What Type of Procedure Is Right for Me?
You don’t have to decide how to do the surgery. That’s your doctor’s job. Most doctors will not offer both these options, but you should do the “due diligence”. Your job is to find the right doctor for you. Talk about this together. Ask questions and listen to the pros and cons of each procedure.
Do MFUGs Really Look Good?
Meet some patients and see how their hair looks. You be the judge. Dr. Elliott has lectured internationally to hair surgeons about MFUG and has been invited to bring his patients to each ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) conference since 2001 as examples of the possibilities of this technique.
What Is New in Dr. Elliott’s Practice?
His unique approach to MFUG has attracted attention from the ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) and the ESHRS (European Society of Hair Restoration Surgery) and he has been an invited lecturer at the annual scientific conferences of each. Now, in 2004, Dr. Elliott is the only hair restoration physician in Alberta to offer both Microscopic FUT and MFUG. His experience in these two procedures has resulted in the new “one surgery, two passes” innovation. In this new approach, proven FUT and MFUG technology is combined. Dr. Elliott selects individual areas to graft with both MFUGs and FUT, combining the advantages of each. This adds yet another dimension to Dr. Elliott’s practice and another choice for the patient.
The Trichophytic donor closure represents a major improvement in donor scar visibility. Already scars have been typically difficult to even find, but with this new innovation, in most patients, they are nearly invisible.
FUE has added an entirely new dimension to Dr. Elliott’s practice, making transplants a reality for many patients who were not candidates in the past.