Traditional Method - FUT / Strip

Strip is the traditional method of extraction and can still be a viable option for both men and women.
It involves removing a strip of tissue from the back and side of the head and leaving a pencil-thin line that the surrounding hair then covers.

The correct closure causes absolutely minimal tissue tension, is largely non-invasive and causes very little cosmetic change to the scalp. Each follicular unit is separated from the main strip under fibre-optic microscopes. 

This maintains the quality of the tissue, hinders rises in temperature, and prevents damage to the graft. It also leaves thousands of follicular units in their natural state, divided into their natural groups of single and multiple hairs. Meanwhile, the recipient site is prepared and the grafts are then placed. It is important to appreciate that although a linear scar line is inevitable, it can be well hidden within existing hair, and with the “trichophytic” method of closure, a person’s hair can be worn shorter than ever before. The “trichophytic” technique is now the standard closure for all strip patients. It involves a triple closure of the donor site after the epithelium is removed. Obviously a close or completely shaved head will make the line visible. 

Strip / FUT is a proven and successful method of extraction but the patient does carry some responsibility with “donor” care. Superficial healing is relatively quick and not overly conspicuous, but the suture has to be removed ten days post-op (we recommend a professional for this). The scalp will then return to normal pigmentation. This can take several months.

One important factor post-surgery is to not allow any unnecessary tension on your scalp. For the first two months, you need to avoid putting pressure on or stretching the scalp. This means limited physical activity and no heavy workouts while skin laxity returns to normal. Strip procedures, especially mega sessions, are a group effort in which the doctor guides an efficient and technically adept team through the cutting and placement process. Surgery would be impossible without such teamwork. 

These mega sessions of 3,000 follicular units or more can be repeated if the donor area allows. The amount of hair that can be removed depends on such factors as donor density, the area of the safe donor zone, and scalp laxity. 

Scalp laxity can affect the width of the strip removed and the doctor will measure what he feels is safe to extract without putting excessive pressure on the scalp. Strip removal has allowed for larger graft numbers to be achieved even for people with average or lower laxity and density. 

Dr. Bisanga’s technique enables even greater graft numbers than before, with potentially 4,000 to 6,000 grafts depending on the patients characteristics (the latter was one of the largest FUT sessions successfully performed worldwide and the largest in Europe).