Hair transplantation has revolutionized the way people look at baldness. Modern surgery offers natural-looking hairlines and long-lasting results, unlike outdated hair plugs. However, despite the benefits, patients are still left with scarring after the procedure.
Today, hair transplant clinics use two popular surgical techniques to perform the procedure – Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Both these techniques leave behind different types of scars. The number and size of the scars also depend on the surgeon’s skill and the number of hair follicles extracted.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a modern hair transplant technique that involves extracting individual hair follicles from the scalp using a specialized tool.
FUE involves the extraction of hair follicle grafts from the back and sides of the scalp using a micro punch tool. These follicles are then transplanted into areas of the scalp where hair is thinning or balding. The procedure leaves behind round scars, each up to 1 millimetre in diameter. As the number of scars depends on the number of hair follicles extracted, there could be hundreds or even thousands of puncture mark scars. These scars eventually heal and appear like tiny white dots.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is an older hair transplant technique that involves removing a strip of hair-bearing scalp from the donor area and dissecting it into individual follicular units for transplantation. In FUT, a scalp strip containing hair from the donor area is surgically removed from the back of the scalp.
FUT requires sutures to close the donor site and leaves a linear scar, but it can yield a larger number of grafts in a single session compared to FUE. The site is sutured together, leaving behind a linear scar that varies in length based on the size of the strip extracted. The hair follicle grafts from the removed strip are then prepared for grafting onto the recipient areas.
Can Scarring After Hair Transplant Be Avoided?
Fortunately, several scar removal techniques can reduce the size of scars created during the FUT procedure. Medications can help thin scar tissue, and scalp micro-pigmentation and Tricopigmentation can cover up the scarred areas. Laser treatment is also an option to rejuvenate the skin’s elasticity and overall appearance.
- Scalp micro pigmentation (SMP) is a non-surgical hair restoration treatment that uses tattooing to mimic the appearance of hair follicles on the scalp.
- Tricopigmentation (TMP) is a similar technique to SMP that involves depositing pigment into the scalp to create the illusion of hair density.
- Laser treatment for hair loss involves using low-level lasers to stimulate hair growth and improve the overall health of the scalp. It is a non-invasive procedure with few side effects.
For many, hair transplant surgery is a safe and effective way to regain their confidence and self-esteem. While scarring is an unavoidable part of the process, choosing a knowledgeable and experienced surgeon can minimize its appearance. Patients should also consider the various scar removal techniques available to them to ensure the best possible outcomes.
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