Which Is Better: FUE or FUT or DHI?

Choosing the right hair transplant can be stressful, especially if you’ve never had one before. There’s FUE, FUT, M-FUT, DHI, U-FUE, ARTAS, and many others. 

Of all these, you mainly need to know about FUE and FUT; which are short for follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplantation, respectively. DHI, or direct hair implantation, is simply a variant of FUE. But as far as FUE and FUT are concerned, there are some clear differences between them. 

FUT vs FUE vs DHI: What Is The Difference? 

Here are the differences between the three hair transplants. 

Surgical Technique 

In a FUT hair transplant (also known as strip/linear harvesting), a strip of skin is removed from the back of the scalp, and follicular units are extracted from the skin. The scalp is then sutured or stapled back up. 

While in an FUE hair transplant, individual follicular units are extracted from the donor areas (back and sides of the scalp). So, the difference is in the harvestation technique. 

In a DHI hair transplant, on the other hand, harvestation is the same as traditional FUE. The only difference is in the implantation stage. Instead of using a steel blade, Choi pens are used to make incisions and insert grafts into the balding areas. 

Candidates 

Usually, patients are recommended FUE hair transplant. That’s because it leaves no visible scars, and the recovery is quicker. In addition, the hair graft survival rate exceeds 90 %, and the results are natural-looking. 

But if the donor area is very weak and the balding area is large. your doctor may recommend a FUT hair transplant. This technique can further reduce the risk of transection so that patients with weak donor areas can still achieve satisfactory hair density.

Alternately, the DHI hair transplant is generally preferred by those who need less than 3,000 grafts and do not wish to shave their recipient area. Using the Choi pen, more grafts (a safe number) can be implanted in the balding area, giving the patient a higher density with DHI than other transplantation methods. 

Scarring 

Any surgery that involves incisions will leave you with scars. So, both FUT and FUE hair transplants will result in scarring (which eventually fades). The only difference is in the size and shape of the scar. 
In a FUT hair transplant, the strip removal will leave a linear scar on the back of your head. And the scar can heal abnormally, which can make it look thick and raised.

fut scar smp

As far as FUE is concerned, a machine will puncture small holes in the donor area (on the order of millimetres). So, you’ll be left with small circular scars which are not really visible, especially once the hair grows. The same happens in DHI.

reci scar

Keep in mind that in FUT, FUE and DHI, incisions will be made in the recipient area for the insertion of grafts. So, that, too, will result in temporary scarring.

According to the 2022 practice census results of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), more than 75% of males had FUE, while around 21% of them had FUT. And one of the biggest reasons for that is the scarring. The scars from FUE are far more discreet and heal more quickly. 

Recovery 

The puncture wounds in an FUE and DHI hair transplant are so small that no stitches are required. But as mentioned earlier, you will have stitches after a FUT. And unless those are dissolvable, they’ll have to be removed by your surgeon after about 14 days (so you’ll have to stay in Turkey for 2 weeks). 

Additionally, the recovery process for FUT will be more difficult because of the size of the wound and the stitches themselves. In contrast, patients are usually good to go 2-3 days after FUE. 

Cost 

FUE hair transplants are more expensive than FUT because extracting grafts from the donor area is more labour-intensive in it. In contrast, harvesting grafts from a strip of skin is quicker, which is why FUT is cheaper. FUE hair transplants in Turkey cost about £1,500 on average, while FUT costs about £1,300. 

However, the DHI hair transplant is more expensive than both FUE and FUT. It costs £1,700 on average. This is due to the use of special Choi pens, many of which are used during the procedure, and they’re all disposable. 

Conclusion 

Mainly, there are two hair transplant techniques: FUT and FUE. The FUT technique was developed before FUE and it soon lost popularity due to the latter’s lack of stitches or prominent scarring. 

For the preparation of a treatment plan, the health of the donor area, the size of the balding area, as well as your expectations and needs are taken into account. However, before choosing any surgical technique, discuss its pros and cons with your surgeon. 

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