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HAIR TRANSPLANT SPECIALIST
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The Strip Harvesting technique involves removing the follicular units to be transplanted as one group. These follicular units are dissected under microscopes and then placed into the bald or thinning areas of the scalp, called the recipient area. With this technique a long band of skin (typically 28cm x 3cm) is removed from the back of the head using scalpels. Each follicular unit contains one to four hairs, the average being 2.2 hairs per follicular unit.
These follicular units are then dissected with great care under microscopes equipped with fibre optics to avoid the application of heat to the follicles. These follicular units are preserved in a special solution at the right temperature until the doctor prepares the recipient sites on the patient. They are then placed with great care into the bald or thinning areas of the scalp, called the recipient area.
A lengthy healing time is required and scarring is certain. Strip surgery can result in long linear sic inch scars, and can also cause nerve damage and numbness of the scalp.a
On the other hand with the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), a specialised punch with less than 1mm diameter is used to extract the hair from the scalp individually. This means that the follicular units are extracted directly from the scalp rather than in larger groups, which obviates the utilization of scalpel and stitching and doesn’t create any linear incisions or linear scarring.
The Technique is minimally invasive which means no scalpels or stitching.
The graft extraction is simple, relatively painless and heals within 2-4 days. Most patients head back to work the day following the procedure and can go back to sport 7 days postoperatively. For the Strip method, the post operative recovery time is 30 days, during which time the patient must completely avoid exercise and must follow a very careful post operative care program.
An unfortunate aspect of the strip extraction method is that it is possible to damage up to 30% of the donor strip follicles during the extraction procedure, due to the scalpel transecting a large number of follicles. With the third generation FUE, not even one follicular unit is damaged during extraction.
With the Strip method, the total number of grafts are dependent upon the strip removed by the surgeon and cannot be known exactly during the strip removal (too few or too many grafts could be removed). With FUE the doctor can decide the exact number of grafts to remove, as he removes them one by one.
The Strip Extraction leaves a scar in the donor area, no matter how good the doctor/surgeon is. With FUE there is no linear scarring at all which is particularly important for patients who wish to shave their heads or wear their hair short.
Strip Extraction is not advisable for small sessions, unlike the FUE technique which is ideal for small sessions (for moustache or eyebrow replacement) and for patients in initial stages.