Follicular Unit Transplantation

What is FUT?

AAlso known as ‘strip surgery’, FUT stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation and is a type of surgical hair transplant known for minimizing trauma to the scalp and producing natural-looking results. In FUT operations, ‘follicular units’ made up of naturally occurring groups of one-to-four hairs, sebaceous (oil) glands, nerves, a small muscle, and occasionally fine vellus hairs, are transplanted. Preserving the unit as a whole in this way is thought to help hair growth once transplanted. Modern Follicular Unit Transportation is considered an advance on older hair transplant techniques which used larger grafts, and often gave obvious and ‘pluggy’-looking results. Transplanting the smaller units used in FUT allows thousands of grafts to be transplanted in a single session, resulting in a more natural-looking effect for the patient. If done well, the new grafts should mimic normal hair growth patterns and be virtually undetectable.


Removing the Donor Tissue

  1. We identify the thinning areas (known as the “recipient” areas) that you are interested in restoring and work to personalize a plan to help you achieve the most natural-looking hairline possible.
  2. Next, we prepare the hair from the back of your head (known as the “donor” area) by trimming the area and preserving the surrounding hair.
  3. After administering local anesthesia to numb the donor area so that you’re completely comfortable during the procedure, our physician removes a strip of tissue in the donor area containing your permanent, lifelong hair follicles.
  4. Once we’ve removed the donor hair, we suture the area and use the surrounding hair to conceal the sutured area.

Preparing the Donor Hair

  1. Our clinical staff prepares the donor hair for placement by trimming or dissecting the donor strips into their follicle groupings, also known as units. Each unit comprises of one, two, three or four hair follicles.
  2. While the units are being prepped for transplantation, you’re free to read, take a nap, watch a movie or relax.

Placing the Follicular Units

  1. Once the follicles are prepared and ready to be transplanted, our physician makes a tiny incision on your scalp for each follicular unit, paying close attention to the location, angle and depth of each unit to ensure natural-looking results and to maximize the density and coverage of the thinning areas.
  2. Based on your custom hair plan, our transplant surgery team places the individual follicular units into the donor recipient sites created by your physician.

After the Procedure

  1. Our clinical team will give you instructions on how to care for your donor and recipient areas, as well as provide medication for sleep and any discomfort you might have.
  2. The day after your surgery, you’re encouraged to return to have your hair washed and to have the recipient sites and donor area inspected. While you might experience some soreness, tightness or numbness, most patients are able to return to work in just a couple of days.
  3. A week after your surgery, any swelling and redness will usually be gone.
  4. Three months after the procedure, new hair will usually begin to regrow. After six months, you should notice significant hair regrowth.

After the procedure, new hair will usually begin to regrow. After six months, you should notice significant hair regrowth.

"F.U.T Surgery Steps"

Local Anesthesia

Slitting Recepient Area
Hair Removal Strip

Dissection of graft

Implantation Of Graft

Who is an ideal candidate for FUT?

Our hair transplant partner, Dr. Narendra Patwardhan, says that: “Strip FUT is ideally suited to patients suffering from advanced hair loss, who require large amounts of restoration and high graft numbers”. Dr. Patwardhan always advises anyone considering this type of surgery first has a private consultation to ensure they fully understand the different types of hair transplants available and know which option is most likely to work for them. There are three main groups who make the best candidates for FUT hair replacement surgery. These are:

  1. Men who have been losing their hair due to male pattern baldness for more than five years, or whose condition is a Norwood Scale Class 3 or above
  2. Men for whom medically-proven hair loss treatments may not work (this is usually due to the stage and pace of the hair loss when they first start treatment)
  3. Men who have been balding for many years and whose hair loss has now stabilised
  4. Men and women who have lost their hair due to trauma, burns or cosmetic procedures, such as facelifts

Surgeons are often reluctant to carry out FUT on men who are entirely bald. Strip surgery may not be possible for people using blood thinners including Plavix, Coumadin and Heparin. Also, anyone taking beta-blockers such as Inderal (Propranolol), may need to switch to a select beta-blocker medication before their FUT operation can take place. Your surgeon should run through all the medications and lifestyle changes that may be necessary ahead of any hair transplant operation, including temporarily stopping smoking and consuming alcohol.


FUT or FUE. When carrying out a hair transplant the surgeon must ensure that the donor hair is only taken from the safe donor region. There are two surgical techniques by which hair can be removed from the donor area of a patient’s scalp. Follicular unit transplantation, FUT, and follicular unit extraction, FUE. In an FUT hair transplant a thin strip of hair is removed from the donor region. In an FUE transplant each hair graft is removed from the donor region one by one, using a punch tool. Regardless of whether FUE or FUT is used to remove the hair, the method for transplanting each of the grafts is exactly the same.

For patients undergoing an FUE hair transplant, in most cases the entire scalp must be shaved in advance of the procedure. For patients undergoing an FUT procedure, only the strip of hair to be removed is trimmed, allowing patients to return to their normal lives much more quickly, without others being aware they have had a hair transplant. As the FUE technique only allows a technician to take every second hair graft from the safe donor area, the yield of grafts is lower. As a result, many clinics are forced to remove hair from outside of this zone, which means as the patient ages, these transplanted hairs may thin and be lost.


  • No linear scar in donor area
  • Decreased healing time in the donor area
  • No limitations on strenuous exercise after the procedure
  • Less post-op discomfort in the donor area
  • Useful for those with a greater risk of donor scarring
  • Useful for repairing donor scars that cannot be excised
  • Provides an alternative when the scalp is too tight for a strip excision
  • Enables one to harvest finer hair from the nape of the neck
  • Makes it theoretically possible to harvest non-scalp hair


  • Follicular units in FUE are harvested from a much greater area of the donor zone compared to FUT
  • Graft quality is not as good compared to FUT *
  • The maximum follicular unit graft yield is lower than with FUT
  • With each subsequent session, the scarring in FUE is additive
  • In large FUE hair transplant sessions, the entire donor area must be shaved
  • Microscopic dissection may be needed in addition to the extraction
  • After large numbers of grafts are harvested, fine stippled scars may become visible due to thinning of donor area

  • Dr. Narendra Patwardhan, at Hair and Skin clinic, Bhandarkar Road, Pune is an expert Cosmetologist, Dermatologist, Skin Specialist and Hair Specialist and has expert knowledge and a great deal of expertise in Hair Transplants.