Repair of FUT (Strip) Scars through FUE Hair Transplant

Change is the only constant and it’s so true in our field of hair transplant.

Techniques keep changing with time, and hence what was considered the Holy Grail of hair transplant has fallen to FUE hair transplant. This was expected since FUE is a minimally invasive procedure and does not leave a linear scar that is easily seen in most patients.

All surgical fields had since migrated to minimally invasive procedures and the speciality of hair transplant could not be left to lag behind, being the #1 cosmetic surgery procedure in the World.

Due to skin characteristics and inelasticity in some, it cannot be predicted how a person will scar. In African skin, FUT has been a complete disaster since broad FUT scars can be seen from quite a distance what with the short hairstyles in vogue today. Across racial groups now, the present hairstyles in vogue are the military cuts of yore, nor rechristened as the fade cut. Given this shorter fashion of hairstyling around the back of the head, any linearity in scar shall be visible and will be a give away.

It is surprising that the same people in the USA who were strong advocates of undetectable hair transplants are still advocating FUT or strip procedures. The fact is that some of these surgeons cannot make the switch to the FUE technique after a lifetime spent with minimal involvement in hair transplant. If you closely research these advocates of FUT, you will know that they also offer a host of other cosmetic treatments and procedures besides hair transplant. Harvesting the strip (a 20 min endeavor) is all they are comfortable with and after 10 AM they are busy with lasers, cosmetic procedures, and surgeries. If it is a dentist who is your hair transplant surgeon, he will go back to cosmetic dentistry after the strip harvest, a gynecologist will go back to cosmetic vaginoplasty, etc.

Hence it is important for you to know whether your hair transplant surgeon is only doing hair transplant? Also, is he specialized in one form of treatment- FUE or FUT? This should be crucial in your decision before you go ahead.

FUT scars that are unesthetic or morbid due to hypertrophic scarring abound since this technique was carried out in all cases for a good 2 decades.

At Darling Buds Clinic, we have been repairing/camouflaging scars in one of these 7 ways-

(a) Scar excision and z-plasty closure in those with the lax scalp.
(b) Implantation of grafts into the scar.
(c) Scalp micropigmentation
(d) A+B
(e) A+C
(f) A+B+C
(g) B+C

Scar Excision & W-plasty closure:
It is essential that the scalp laxity can be assessed and if the scalp is tight, it needs to be stretched beforehand. Most scalps are ready for a revision through scar excision of strip scar after a 6-12 weeks regime of strict scalp stretching exercises.

The technique is at-

Implantation of FUE grafts into scar:
It is to be seen that the scar being treated should be 18 months old since the scar needs to be supple and pliable before it can accept grafts. Also, hypertrophic scars need to be ruled out since they do not accept grafts. For a scar to accept cars, scar modulation should be complete and it should be thin enough to have an adequate blood supply to sustain grafts.

Scalp Micropigmentation:
Micro-tattooing is not the usual tattoo art. The dye is different and careful matching with existing skin and hair tones has to be done before doing the procedure.

Usually, scars can be camouflaged up to 65% with SMP.

Adjunctive SMP along with FUE grafts is mostly able to hide the scar of FUT.

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