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What are the differences in techniques used for donor area extraction by different surgeons?

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What Are the Differences in Techniques Used for Donor Area Extraction by Different Surgeons?

Initial Answer

The main techniques used for donor area extraction in hair transplant surgery are Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Surgeons may vary in their approach to these techniques, including the tools they use, the size of the grafts, and the methods for minimizing scarring and ensuring graft survival.

Expanded Information

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

FUE involves extracting individual hair follicles from the donor area using a micro-punch tool. Here are some variations in the FUE technique used by different surgeons:

  • Punch Size: Surgeons use punch tools of varying sizes, typically ranging from 0.7mm to 1.0mm in diameter. Smaller punches can reduce scarring but may increase the risk of transecting hair follicles.
  • Manual vs. Motorized Extraction: Some surgeons perform FUE manually, while others use motorized devices. Manual extraction allows for more precise control, while motorized devices can speed up the process and reduce fatigue for the surgeon.
  • Robotic Assistance: Advanced clinics may use robotic systems like the ARTAS robot, which can enhance precision and efficiency in follicle extraction by using algorithms to identify the best follicles for extraction.
  • Graft Handling and Storage: The handling and storage of grafts after extraction can vary. Some surgeons use specialized storage solutions to preserve graft viability and improve survival rates.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

FUT, also known as the strip method, involves removing a strip of scalp from the donor area, which is then dissected into individual follicular units. Here are some variations in the FUT technique:

  • Strip Size and Shape: The size and shape of the strip removed can vary depending on the patient’s hair density and the number of grafts needed. Surgeons tailor the strip size to balance maximizing graft yield and minimizing scarring.
  • Dissection Techniques: Surgeons use different methods to dissect the strip into individual follicular units. Some use stereoscopic microscopes to ensure precise dissection and minimize damage to the follicles.
  • Closure Techniques: The method used to close the donor area can affect scarring. Techniques such as the trichophytic closure involve overlapping the wound edges to promote hair growth through the scar, making it less noticeable.
  • Tissue Handling: Proper handling of the donor tissue is crucial to maintain follicle viability. Surgeons use various techniques to ensure the grafts are kept in optimal conditions during the procedure.

Scarring and Healing

Minimizing scarring and promoting healing are essential aspects of donor area management:

  • Minimally Invasive Techniques: Techniques that minimize trauma to the scalp, such as smaller punch sizes in FUE, can reduce scarring and promote faster healing.
  • Post-Surgical Care: Surgeons may provide specific post-operative care instructions to enhance healing, such as avoiding certain activities, using prescribed medications, and following a proper scalp care routine.
  • Advanced Healing Aids: Some surgeons use advanced healing aids like Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy to promote faster healing and reduce scarring in the donor area.

Graft Survival and Quality

The techniques used for extracting and handling grafts significantly impact their survival and quality:

  • Precision in Extraction: Techniques that minimize damage to the follicles during extraction, such as the use of precise punch tools and careful handling, can improve graft survival rates.
  • Optimal Storage Conditions: Using specialized storage solutions and maintaining appropriate temperatures can help preserve graft viability during the procedure.
  • Efficient Implantation: Ensuring that the grafts are implanted quickly and accurately can enhance their chances of successful growth in the recipient area.


The techniques used for donor area extraction in hair transplant surgery vary among surgeons, particularly in FUE and FUT methods. Differences in punch sizes, extraction tools, dissection techniques, and closure methods can impact scarring, healing, and graft survival. Understanding these variations can help patients make informed decisions when selecting a surgeon and ensure optimal outcomes for their hair transplant procedure.

For more information on hair restoration techniques and choosing the right surgeon, explore our detailed articles on FUE Surgery and FUT Surgery.

Our company, FUE Surgeons Directory, exists to ensure that the doctors in our directory are vetted and medically trained. If you have any concerns or need assistance, chat with our support team to help you choose the right surgeon from our directory for your particular situation.

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