Discussion of procedure of follicular unit transplantation

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Procedure of Follicular Unit Transplantation

How follicular unit transplantation is done

While the main cause of male pattern baldness is genetic predetermination, stress too is a factor. Yet whatever the cause of male pattern baldness follicular unit transplantation , the most widely used method of medical hair restoration, is the sole recourse in these extreme cases.

In follicular unit transplantation the surgeon scans the follicular units that are being removed from the donor tissue under a microscope. This stereomicroscopic dissection is essential for protecting the follicular units and ensuring a rich yield of both thefollicular units and the total amount of hair that is restored.

Follicular unit transplantation is different from minigrafting and micrografting that use minimal or no magnification during graft removal. The follicular way thus ensures that the transplanted hair looks natural and the hair transplants use up the maximum hair from the donor site.

Donor strip
In follicular unit transplantation the donor strip is the strip of hair that is taken from one part of the body and transplanted to the scalpís bald region. In this technique the donor tissue is removed in one piece to ensure that the follicular units being removed from the back of the scalp suffer no damage.

Extraction of the donor strip
The donor strip is removed from the permanent zone in the back of the scalp and transplanted onto the problem areas. The single-strip harvesting in follicular unit transplantation helps in preserving the follicular units and protecting individual hair follicles from possible damage. The surgeon takes no chances and removes the follicular units from the donor tissue under close microscopic control. This stereomicroscopic dissection results in higher yields of follicular units and the total amount of hair.

Follicular units
Follicular units are a bundle of hair that grow together. On an average one to four terminal hair follicles form a follicular unit. In the case of genetic balding the hair that is transplanted is of smaller diameter and length than the hair replaced. Each follicular unit is surrounded by one to two fine vellus hairs, oil glands, a small muscle and a fine band of collagen. The follicular unit is the skinís hair-bearing structure that ensures maximum growth. Viewed under a microscope it looks like a well-formed structure in the skin.

Using individual follicular units has several advantages. For while this makes it possible to use very small units the amount of transplanted is proportionately much larger. Thus a surgeon can place up to four strands of hair in a tiny recipient site, something that has tremendous implications for cosmetic surgery in general. This makes follicular unit transplantation a considerable improvement over micrografting. Transplantation of individual follicular units also provides a natural look to the transplanted hair. So donít make a bet on this score. Youíre bound to lose it!

Removal of follicular transplants
In follicular hair transplantation individual follicular units are removed directly from the donor area. In other words this method does away with linear incision. A 1-mm punch is used to make a small circular incision in the skin around the upper part of the follicular unit, which is then directly extracted from the scalp.

Follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT) are often treated as two different things. Not so! FUE is actually a type of FUT wherein the follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp, and not microscopically dissected from a strip that has already been removed. In follicular unit transplantation the individual follicular units can be obtained either through single-strip harvesting and stereomicroscopic dissection or through FUE.

Preservation of follicular transplants
In follicular unit transplantation it is important to keep the individual follicular unit intact. The unit should neither be broken up into smaller units nor combined with larger ones. This is a path-breaking development in the history of cosmetic surgery. Many hair transplant surgeons combine several follicular units or split them up. But the practitioners of follicular unit transplantation, and those they have treated, know better.

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