The cost of the FUE method is much higher than FUT and yet most patients still prefer it. Because it misleads a lot of people thinking that the newest technique should be the best.
FUT vs FUE
The FUE method for hair transplant has been around since 2002, which makes it 12 years. It is currently as popular as FUT method for hair transplant surgery. According to the statistics at the 2014 ISHRS annual meeting, 89% of the hair surgeons perform it.
Personally I would not recommend it. Except for very limited indications, FUE is not the patient’s best interest.
The reasons are
1. FUE does not reduce the scars but instead spreads it into much larger areas. Thousands of scars will be left forever and only covered up by the adjacent hair temporarily. One day, the hair around the donor site get thinner or narrower than the safe zone; the scars will become visible and will be impossible to cover up. Instead of FUE, FUT reduces the scar down to 1/10th most of the time. It’s still not visible as long as you keep the surrounding hair one centimeter long.
2. FUE can’t use the best donor available but will instead ruin it. Punch scars can change the hair direction during growth. FUE is a blind procedure and it will harder to punch intact grafts for future procedures. As a hair transplant surgeon, I am always concerned that there will not be enough donor to cover the balding area. Damaging the donor is the worst possible thing that can happen.
Differences between FUT and FUE
|Is it the latest technique?||no, it is the oldest punch graft but change the size of punch|
|Donor harvesting||blind view||under direct microscopy vision|
|Wound treatment||leave open||closed|
|Scar||thousand of small punch scars||one linear scar|
(in same length)
|5 to 6 times wider||one line only|
|Total Scar Size||10 times bigger|
|Scar long term effect||permanent||permanent|
|For keloid patient||disaster-hard to treat thousand keloids||easier- only one scar to treat|
|Quality of graft||defect graft (no tissue around follicle)||intact graft (come with tissue around follicle)|
|Growth rate of transplantation||61.40%||86%||Read Dr.Beehner’s study|
|Impact to 2nd surgery||huge-scar tissues change the hair direction||minimum- can use different donor area|
|Length of hair need to cover up the scar||1 cm||2 cm|
|Hairstyle options such as marine cut||no||yes|
Why most surgeons prefer FUE?
FUE: need only one technician
FUT: need 3-4 technicians
Some surgeons do everything by themselves without hiring any assistance to save on business costs. It is for their own best interest, not yours.
In addition to the overhead expense, the surgery fee is double for the FUE technique. The incentive using FUE for physicians are simply irresistible. Especially for new physician who’s just starting his practice with only 3 to 5 surgeries a month. It’s difficult to start a business when you need to hire 3 to 4 technicians to assist.