The age of the “hair plug” transplant has ended. Now, well done hair transplant procedures create an appearance of naturalness and are undetectable. The reason for this improvement is due to the technique of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or Follicular Unit Micrografting (FUG).
Follicular units are the natural groupings of hair that we have in our scalp and are typically made up of 1 to 4 hairs. During the procedure, hair is removed surgically as a strip from the back of the head. The hair in this area of the scalp is resistant to balding. These hairs are then separated into their natural follicular units or groupings with microscopic techniques and then placed into the areas of balding. Follicular unit grafts are very small and appear almost undetectable when transplanted. Patients can now achieve a natural and permanent full head of hair by this method using their own hairs.
Dr. Giuffrida performs Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) at the Hair Transplant Center of Miami in Coral Gables. He is board certified in Dermatology and has excelled in facial reconstruction for over 10 years. He brings an artistic edge from his experience in facial reconstruction. Dr. Giuffrida’s combination of artistry and expertise allows him to design and perform natural looking and aesthetically appealing transplants.
The Procedure – Strip Donor Site
Upon arriving to the office, each patient meets with Dr. Giuffrida in a private surgical room. Dr. Giuffrida explains the details of the procedure and marks the areas of the scalp that he plans to transplant. Once he has your approval, you are given a surgical gown and some medication by mouth to help relax. Dr. Giuffrida has selected surgical chairs that are specific for patient comfort during this procedure. Music and TV are also provided in each surgical room so that patients can listen to or watch their selection of choice during the procedure.
Hair from the donor area (back of the head), which is not susceptible to balding, is then clipped to a few millimeters. Hair above this donor area can be left longer to camouflage the area immediately after the procedure. To start the procedure, each patient must by lying on the stomach. Once you are comfortable, a local anesthetic is administered by injection with a small, thin needle while an assistant massages your scalp. This is the only painful part of the procedure and this massage technique minimizes the discomfort.
The Donor Area
After anesthesia is given, the donor area of hair is removed in a “strip” shape with a specially designed scalpel. Dr. Giuffrida then closes this area with careful suturing technique to give the most minimal and cosmetically appealing scar possible. The scar is usually 2mm or less in width. Dr. Giuffrida’s team of assistants takes the “strip” of hairs and it is divided up through the use of microscopes into follicular units. This technique allows these follicular units, or natural hair groupings, of 1 to 4 hairs to be preserved intact and healthy.
Implanting the Hair
Small, slit like openings are then made into the recipient area, which is where the hairs are intended to be placed. The openings are made with a tiny, sharp instrument after local anesthesia. The hairs are then carefully placed into each opening to preserve the hairs without damage. Each hair unit is placed precisely and strategically so that the hair appears natural.
The entire procedure can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours depending on the number of hairs transplanted. Patients leave the office without bandages and are often given antibiotics and medicine to help with swelling at home. Patients cannot drive home after the procedure due to the mild sedative given. Mild pain medication is given to take home for any discomfort, which if present, is usually in the back of the scalp where the stitches are. Each patient has Dr. Giuffrida’s cell phone number to contact him with any questions. The following day, the patient returns to our office to have the hair shampooed and can resume most regular activities that day. Exercise and more strenuous activity can resume after 1 week.
View our pre op and post op forms
The transplanted hair typically starts to grow anywhere from 4 to 6 months with full growth by 1 year. A small percentage of patients have immediate growth. Some patients can experience a small loss of hair immediately after surgery but this hair regrows.