Discussion of follicular unit transplantation

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Follicular Unit Transplantation

What is follicular unit transplantation?

Genetic factors predominate in cases of male pattern baldness.Those who are genetically predisposed to baldness have testosterone in their hair. The hormone gets converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the enzyme 5-apha reductase. DHT slows hair production, and the hair produced is weak. In many cases production of new hair ceases completely, resulting in hair loss, and ultimately total baldness. Another cause of male pattern baldness is stress.Among the several methods of medical hair restoration follicular unit transplantation is considered the most effective and therefore widely used. The surgery, which is performed by a professional surgeon, involves transplanting hair from the permanent zone in the back of the scalp onto the affected areas.

The donor tissue is removed in one piece so that the follicular units that are being relocated from the back of the scalp are not damaged. Single-strip harvesting, an essential component of follicular unit transplantation, not only preserves the follicular units but also ensures no damage is caused to the individual hair follicles. Follicular unit transplantation allows the surgeon to use small recipient sites.

The technique of follicular unit transplantation follows a well laid out pattern. During surgery the follicular units that are removed from the donor tissue are carefully studied under a microscope. This stereomicroscopic dissection raises the yield of both the absolute number of follicular units and the total amount of hair.

Follicular unit transplantation and mini-micrografting

Minigrafting and micrografting techniques of hair transplantation are similar to follicular unit transplantation. However, follicular unit transplantation is different from minigrafting and micrografting, both of which use a multi-bladed knife to split the follicular units. This causes unacceptable levels of transection of hair follicles.

In follicular unit transplantation graft sizes are determined by nature. In mini-micrografting, on the other hand, the graft sizes are arbitrarily determined, and the donor tissue spliced to the size the surgeon deems fit.

Follicular unit transplantation differs from mini-micrografting in another respect as well. In the latter the hair follicles are not kept intact, and the follicular units are not preserved. Speed and economy are more important in mini-micrografting. The technique uses a multi-bladed knife to quickly generate thin strips of tissue, following which direct visualization comes into play, and the tissue severed. Mini-micrografting is the shorter and less expensive route of the two.

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