FUT | Strip of skin in hair transplantation.

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Pictured below are fully healed STRIP scars performed by Dr. Sever Muresanu, one of the world’s top hair transplant surgeons.

STRIP harvesting involves removing a flap of skin from the back of the head. Another way to call STRIP is FUSS, Follicular Unit Strip Surgery, which translated is follicular unit surgery using the STRIP method.

FUSS can be classified as the hair transplant technique that takes follicular units from the back of the scalp (specifically in the occipital part) and transfers them to the other parts of the scalp. This allows hair to grow back in glabrous areas or where hair is fine (miniaturized, see vellus).

STRIP surgery, what does it consist of?

During strip surgery, the following procedures are performed:

The doctor cuts a strip of tissue from the donor area that is located in the backside of the head. This strip of skin starts in the central occipital area and extends to the ears almost to the temporal section (it all depends on the donor area and the surgeon’s ability/willingness).
The lozenge is then divided thousands of hair follicles by nurses. During this operation, professionals use specific magnifiers.
The follicular units are then refrigerated to ensure that they remain intact.
Cuts are made with various techniquesin the scalp (receiving area) where the hair will then be inserted.
The newly “created” follicular units are inserted into the locations performed so that the hair can regrow in the following months.

What are the side effects of hair transplantation?

Next we address all the side effects and possible medical complications that can be attributable to hair transplantation:

Infections: Cutting too deep or too frequently can increase the possibility of infection to the affected tissues.

Necrosis: Although unlikely, skin that is separated from the blood for too long can die: Necrosis can extend if not removed immediately.

Scars: All surgeries leave scars, in the specific case STRIP surgery leaves a linear scar in the donor area. The variables that can influence the quality of the suture once healed are different, for example the laxity of the scalp, the quantity of the harvest and the number of previous surgeries performed (always talking about hair transplant). The experienced surgeon figures out how many follicular units can be taken at most to prevent the scar once healed from becoming excessively large.
Scars that are one or two millimeters long are on average considered excellent, if they are three or four millimeters long they are considered acceptable while above 5 mm must be considered unacceptable. In case the scar should be excessively thick after the hair transplant we could opt (if the physiological characteristics allow it) for a scar reduction surgery in order to reduce the width of the scar tissue.

When can we recommend surgery with the STRIP technique?
Usually we can recommend this type of surgery in case we are talking about:

  • Extensive baldness with the need to perform a very important harvesting.
  • Specific requests of the patient not to shave the donor area completely.
  • The patient must have androgenetic alopecia that is not DUPA.
  • The patient must be aware that an FUE would be preferable if he/she wanted to wear his/her hair very short.

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