FUT (Follicular Unit Transplant) or Strip technique is an older method of hair transplant. Lately FUT technique tends to fall back, since it has been replaced by the minimally invasive FUE method. Actually, FUE method presents very impressive results, without leaving any marks or linear scars behind.
The most significant drawback of FUT/Strip technique is that it leaves a permanent scar situated in the donor area at the back of one’s head. It is estimated that 35-40% of patients that address a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist for hair transplant, have already undergone one or more FUT hair transplant sessions and subsequently wish to restore those large deformed scars.
FUT scar restoration is an extremely difficult and demanding procedure, that should be performed only by a specialized Plastic Surgeon who acquires relevant experience, as Dr Anastasios Vekris does. There are three basic methods for FUT-Strip scar restoration: By excision of the scar and wound stitching with W-plasty technique, by implanting hair follicles with FUE technique and with permanent medical tattoo (micropigmentation).
The restoration of postoperative scars that have emerged after a FUT-Strip hair transplant session has taken place, is performed by implanting healthy hair follicles. FUE technique is an excellent method for scar restoration leading to highly satisfying and completely natural-looking results. This method is gaining ground because of its minimally invasive nature and the benefits entailed (fast recovery, minimal pain, rapid return to work). Thanks to the pioneering FUE hair transplant technique, body hair-follicles (chest, back) can be used equally as the facial ones.
The FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant technique is appropriate not only for the restoration of FUT/Strip scars but for any postoperative scars or existing ones on the scalp, especially if they are limited in size. Scars restoration is performed in a completely natural way and the results are excellent thanks to FUE method. Therefore, it is provided a solution to problems of chronic and old scars that could not be resolved effectively by other means. The final result can be expected 10 to 12 months after the restoration session has taken place. It is possible though to have new hair growth even after 18 months, especially if body hair follicles have been used.
Advanced Hair Clinics applies FUE technique as it has been scientifically and clinically verified that the hair growth can be achieved in any body area. Therefore, FUE method has been used for the restoration of scars that have emerged after an operation, an accident or even a burn in challenging body areas such as eyebrows, sideburns, moustache, beard or chest.
During the W-plasty technique, any old scar that resulted from a FUT/Strip hair transplant operation is initially excisioned in a W shape. After the appropriate mobilization of the wound’s edges, the wound is stitched layer by layer from the deeper layers to the superficial ones, a technique that is called “trichophytic closure”.
This technique is suitable for scars of medium to large width, provided that the surrounding skin is adequately elastic. The final result is observable 8 to 12 months after the surgery. The scar is reduced up to 80%, leading to a mark that is practically non-observable. In special cases, the technique can be used in combination with a hair transplant session so as to achieve an aesthetically satisfying result.
A permanent medical tattoo can be applied on the scar in cases when excision of the postoperative scar and restoration of the latter by using the W-plasty or FUE technique is not indicated. Micropigmentation is the technique that lately has gained momentum regarding scar restoration. During the application of micropigmentation, the scar is being covered by little spots or fine lines that resemble the image of short cut hair.
The micropigmentation technique should be solely applied by experienced and well-qualified medical personnel in conditions of absolute sterilization. In all cases, the procedure takes place under local anaesthesia. Moreover during the micropigmentation sessions attention should be paid to the proper sterilization of the medical tools and of course special caution should be given so that substances that secure a safe and aesthetically satisfying outcome are being applied so as no allergies or side effects are being caused. One should pay attention to the fact that micropigmentation does not restore the scar, it solely conceals it. It is another option though to improve the aesthetic appearance of the scar.
The main disadvantage of micropigmentation is the fact that significant side effects such as infection or allergy might be observed due to the application of inappropriate colourant or because of the usage of medical tools non sterilized adequately enough. Moreover, despite the fact that the outcome might look successful at the beginning, overtime one might observe discoloration or even bleaching of the tattoo. It is not a rare phenomenon that gradually the colour of the tattoo ends up to an unnatural one such as green or blue – a colour that does not resemble the natural colour of hair, of course.
The discoloration happens because of the intense hematosis of the head that results in the breakdown of the colourant. An additional element that leads to the discoloration of the tattoo is the exposure to the sun, especially when there is not enough hair density in the area. Therefore, a major disadvantage is the fact that it is required repetition of the micropigmentation procedure in order to preserve a natural result. One session is not enough to achieve a satisfying outcome, despite what a professional might promise to a patient.