What is Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Transplantation (URFUT)
Hair Restoration Blackrock is an expert in Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Transplantation (URFUT) which has many advantages, one of which is producing a high yield of grafts for transplantation. In an URFUT transplant a thin strip of skin containing hair is surgically removed from the donor area, an area around the back and sides of a patient’s head which is less susceptible to the balding process.
What is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
FUE is another method of obtaining donor hair for transplantation. Follicular units are taken individually from the donor area on the scalp without the need for a linear incision. Instead, a blunt-tipped punch tool is used to extract the individual follicles from the scalp. This differs from FUT where a donor strip of skin is taken and the follicular units are microscopically dissected from that strip.
FUE: what about scarring?
As skin cannot be broken without leaving a scar, however small, FUE can result in stippling and scarring on the scalp.
How does FUE compare with URFUT?
Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, some of which are listed below for ease of reading;
- For patients undergoing an FUE procedure usually the entire scalp must be shaved in advance of their procedure, for those undergoing an URFUT procedure only the area of hair to be removed is trimmed.
- In an FUE procedure the graft yield is lower than with URFUT which means you get less donor hair for transplantation. This is because it is not possible to harvest as much hair.
- In an FUE procedure the growth rate of the grafts is often lower as the accuracy of the punch tool used is not as good as a skilled technician using a microscope.
- A stitch is required in an URFUT procedure; in an FUE procedure no stitches are needed.
- For patients that like to wear their hair very short FUE may be the preferable option as the scars resulting from the FUE procedure may be less noticeable in very short hair as they are more spread out.
- Should a patient decide to return for a 2nd or 3rd hair transplant procedure with the URFUT technique a skilled surgeon can remove the scar from the patient’s previous surgery however with the FUE technique this is not possible and new scars will always be created with subsequent surgeries.
Before any patient makes a decision as to what technique they wish to choose, a consultation with a properly qualified consultant surgeon is essential.
For many patients the optimal treatment plan would involve the use of both techniques over the patient’s life and therefore it is important for patients to attend a clinic that can offer both techniques to them.
Watch FUT vs FUE
About the Author
DR Maurice Collins
MB, B.Ch, BAO, DLO, FRCSI, FRCS, FRCSEd.
Registered with the Medical Council of Ireland
Dr Collins is Medical Director and Team Principal of Hair Restoration Blackrock. He was educated at Belvedere College Dublin and did his undergraduate medical studies at University College Dublin. After graduating as a doctor he trained in General Surgery and received his Fellowship (FRCSI) in this specialty from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Find out more about DR Maurice Collins and our team of doctors and surgeons.