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Recently, the president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) published an article about the trends in Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) versus Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedures, something that is always a popular topic (there is a PDF download of the ISHRS article available at the end of this article). The question about which type of hair transplant procedure is best is an age-old question. In reality, it depends on the individual and their specific needs.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also known as a “strip” procedure, became the latest and greatest solution in the 1990s, when the industry advanced beyond the years of the unnatural looking “plug” hair transplants. Then in the early 2000s, the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure started to gain attention and popularity because it doesn’t involve the removal of a strip of donor hair.

At PAI Medical Group of Indiana (WeGrowHairIndy.com), we believe in staying up to date on the most advanced technology in hair restoration and offering the best hair transplant techniques available anywhere in the world. We offer industry leading techniques for both FUE & FUT procedures. For FUT, we offer our unique, and trademarked, Multi-Unit Hair Grafting™ procedure that allows us to transplant up to 3x the amount of hair, and get up to 2x the density, in a single procedure compared to other well-known hair transplant methods. For FUE, on the other hand, we invested in the most technologically advanced FUE hair transplant procedure, the ARTAS Robotic FUE device.

When comparing traditional FUT procedures to PAI’s trademarked Multi-Unit Hair Grafting™ (MUHG) procedure, the traditional FUT results cannot compare to the unmatched increase in density, coverage and natural results obtained by MUHG. Moreover, the MUHG procedure is the best option for patients who have larger areas of hair loss and need the most hair they possibly can in a single procedure. For that reason, Multi-Unit Hair Grafting™ is our most popular procedure. Understandably, many individuals hold some reservations with regards to having an FUT procedure due to some of the negative connotations that have been associated with the scarring left in the donor area.

It is very important to understand that technology has advanced so much now, especially over recent years, that the suture line with MUHG is most often pencil thin and often virtually undetectable (as opposed to older types of FUT procedures). Can you find the suture line is this client in the video below?


Building on the topic, and comparing FUT and FUE hair transplants, there are two primary categories with FUE – manual FUE and robotic FUE (ARTAS robotic FUE). The ARTAS robotic FUE hair transplant is performed under the careful supervision of a highly trained, and ARTAS certified, physician.

This solution leverages digital imaging and precision robotics to harvest healthy individual hair groupings for transplantation. With the use of a high definition stereoscopic vision system and several advanced algorithms, the ARTAS robot maps out and selects the optimal follicles desired for harvesting.

The physician does not actually harvest the donor grafts; rather the harvesting is all completed by the ARTAS robot with unparalleled robotic precision and accuracy – ensuring that the last graft is the same quality as the first that was harvested. One of the largest challenges in performing an FUE procedure is predicting hair angles below the surface and not transecting/cutting the all important hair seed, or bulb, at the bottom of the follicle. With this system, the robot is also able to adjust 50x per second to make minor adjustments as it is harvesting the hairs - continually calculating hair angles below the scalp. In the vast majority of cases, this ensures a very very low transection (damage) rate to the grafts as they are harvested.

Additionally, the ARTAS system eliminates the human error and fatigue aspect of an FUE procedure performed without robotics. As a result, this ensures the preservation of the natural look along the donor area as well as yielding perfectly intact grafts for transplantation. Once the hairs have been harvested in their natural groupings, they are then transplanted individually to the recipient area of need. We typically recommend this procedure to clients with a smaller area of hair loss.


If you would like to understand more about the differences between ARTAS robotic FUE and the other manual FUE hair transplant procedures, click here.

Both Multi-Unit Hair Grafting™ and ARTAS Robotic FUE procedures use your own genetically permanent growing hair, typically from the back of your head. After harvesting, the hair is closely examined under magnification, separated into specific grouping types and then placed into the thinning areas of your scalp. Because this hair is not susceptible to the conditions that cause male-pattern baldness (DHT), transplanted hair should last a lifetime. So, if the transplant delivers the result you’re looking for, then you can’t go wrong with either technique.

The ISHRS article does a good job of comparing the pros and cons between FUT & FUE techniques, and you’ll notice that the industry believes the tables are turning and FUT will once again be the method of choice for a higher majority of hair restoration patients. When FUE came along, it was thought to be the beginning of the end of FUT procedures. This is now turning full circle because it’s hard to beat the amount of hair and density that can be obtained through the traditional FUT method. When considering your hair transplant, it’s extremely important to find a clinic that offers both FUT & FUE options so you can be sure you’re getting the absolute best procedure for you and your situation.

Still not sure what hair transplant procedure makes the most sense for you? We'd love to send you more information or set you up to meet with one of our trained professionals to discuss your concerns and hair loss treatment options. Indeed, when you come for a consultation you will likely be meeting with someone that has actually been through one of our procedures so you can see firsthand how we can help change the way you look and feel for the better!

ISHRS Article

Arthur Tykocinski, MD, FISHRS

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