Around 40% of men in the UK are bald. By the age of 50, 50% of men will have at least some noticeable hair loss. Whether you choose to lose your hair with grace or shy away behind hats and caps, hair loss affects everyone differently, so it’s up to you how you choose to handle it. Science has progressed so much so that in 2011, the world’s first robotic hair transplant was introduced, changing the hair transplant industry forever. The market of hair transplant clinics now has an array of surgeries readily available, each with their own benefits, healing times and procedures.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT, also known as the hair transplant strip method is an extremely advanced technique in which an entire strip of hair is removed from the “donor area” where hair fall is less, and hair growth is thick. The strip containing the follicles is then divided into grafts containing just one or two follicles. Thousands of the follicular unit grafts are then placed into minuscule incisions made on the bald areas of the patient’s scalp. Following the procedure, the hair begins to grow as it naturally would, providing no tell-tale signs of surgery. Quite an invasive procedure, you may experience uncomfort, numbness or tingling whilst the operation takes place, but since you are placed under a local anaesthetic, it is nothing unbearable. Many people choose to have a follicular unit transplantation because:
- A huge advantage of FUT is the vast amount of follicles that can be transported in a single session. For patients that require a lot of follicles, some surgeons will perform “super sessions” in which up to 5000 follicles may be transferred. This type of procedure is perfect for clients who are unable to commit to a number of different appointments.
- This type of procedure provides a better yield of hair in comparison to other procedures and therefore produces healthy and natural-looking results
- When compared to other procedures, such as FUE, FUT is a lot more affordable and thus a more feasible option for a lot of potential patients.
Needless to say, as with every procedure comes a downfall and it’s best a patient is made aware of these in order to make an informed decision:
- If proper care is not taken during and after surgery, you may experience local inflammation and infection. It is therefore irrevocably important when selecting your hair transplant clinic and surgeon, to ensure that they are well trained and fully qualified, have received nothing less than top reviews and are able to showcase past work. A bad surgeon leads to a bad procedure and inevitably, infection.
- As a result of the procedure being rather invasive on the body, it is advised that each patient avoids any type of strenuous activity for the first 4-week post-op. Depending on the nature of your lifestyle, this may pose as a bit of a problem for some.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
FUE is the go-to procedure when people think of a hair transplant. The procedure works by extracting single follicles from the “donor area” of the scalp with a specialised cutting tool. These individual follicles are then inserted into tiny incisions into the desired site on the scalp. Once the procedure is complete and with time, the follicles grow strong and healthy hairs in replace of the bald patch. People often opt to have a follicular unit extraction because:
- FUE produces minimal discomfort and visible scarring. With every procedure, the patient is placed under a local anaesthetic however as mentioned with FUT, a patient may experience numbness or tingling. With FUE, this type of discomfort is experienced very rarely making it a popular choice. Similarly, as each follicle is removed individually, there is little to no visible scarring in comparison to FUT, where an entire portion of the scalp is excised, requiring larger incisions and stitches.
- FUE is a great option for patients who may not have the right amount of donor hair to offer or have a particularly soft scalp. In fact, FUE can be used to excise follicle units from an entirely different part of the body! Common areas include the legs, chest, arm and back which usually result in a much thicker looking head of hair.
As mentioned previously, every procedure has its disadvantages and FUE is no exception:
- FUE is not suitable for large areas of baldness. Due to the nature of the procedure, it is not realistic to remove singular follicular units for a large area on the scalp as it would be needlessly time-consuming.
- After the procedure, you will be left with hundreds of tiny white scars on the head caused by the incisions in which the follicles were removed. Luckily, however, once your hair has fully grown out, this scarring can generally not be seen to the naked human eye. Find out more information on FUE here.
ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant
A real step forward into the future, since 2011, a number of hair transplants have been performed at the hand of a robot. An ARTAS robotic hair transplant consists of of a high-definition stereoscopic vision system utilising artificially intelligent algorithms to identify and select the best follicles for extraction. With robotic precision, the hair is harvested, preserving the natural look of your “donor area”. A customised hairline is then designed by robotic intelligence, distributing the extracted hair follicles in a way that avoids damaging healthy hair. Your hair is then transplanted robotically or manually to the targeted areas of your scalp. Around 6 months down the line, the patient can look forward to a healthier and thicker head of hair! Many people opt for an ARTAS hair transplant because:
- This type of hair transplant is minimally-invasive in that both the donor and the recipient areas heal very quickly, usually taking just 7 days for the scalp to look back to normal.
- ARTAS hair transplants offer unparalleled precision and accuracy. Performed by a robot, there is no room for human error or inaccuracy, every single graft is as good as the last.
- Because of the nature of how the robotic intelligence has been designed and the accuracy of the procedure, the transplant is due to last a life-time.
Still a rather new form of technology, there are problems that arise when deciding whether or not to choose ARTAS as your form of transplant:
- A lot of patients require an extended donor area when the back of the head is insufficient. ARTAS is unable to provide in these circumstances as it is only able to extract hair follicles from the back and sides of the head.
- A point not always discussed prior to consultations is the restricted usage of ARTAS. A robotic hair transplant can only be used to patients with dark and straight hair making it extremely inaccessible to a lot of the population.
Deciding which hair transplant to undergo is extremely personal and subjective to the person prepared to take part in the surgery so do not jump into anything until you have fully researched it and know what you are getting involved in. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of the team, please visit send us a message.