The Strip Harvesting Method was the former ‘go-to’ procedure for surgical hair loss treatment. However, this has been replaced in recent years by a new, revolutionary process. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) ensures better results, less downtime and precise, natural-looking results. Harvesting Method. However, this has been gradually phased out by Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) which promises less post-surgery downtime and better, more natural-looking results.
The Strip Harvesting Method was the former ‘go-to’ procedure for surgical hair loss treatment. However, this has been replaced in recent years by a new, revolutionary process. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) ensures better results, less downtime and precise, natural-looking results.
With the Strip Harvesting Technique, the hair follicles are removed in strips from the back of the head using a scalpel. There is typically an average of 2.2 hairs per follicular unit. Each group is dissected under high-powered, fibre-optic microscopes into individual units. These units are then transplanted onto the recipient area of the head, i.e. the places where hair is bald or thinning. Due to the invasive scalpel method, strip surgery usually leaves long scars and requires a lengthy healing time. In some cases, patients will experience nerve damage and numbness of the scalp.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a far more refined and cutting edge hair loss treatment. Using a specialised punch tool with less than 1mm diameter, hair follicles are individually extracted directly from the scalp. The process is minimally invasive with no stitches and no scarring thanks to the sophisticated tools used.
Post-operative recovery time for the Strip Harvesting method is usually around one month, with patients required to follow a strict care program and avoid exercise for 30 days.
In contrast, patients who undergo the FUE procedure will be up and running within 48 hours and fully recovered within 10 days for minimal disruption to their daily routine. Thanks to a basic aftercare process, many also choose to go back to work the day after surgery.
Around a third of donor strip follicles risk being damaged during the Strip Harvesting extraction process. This is due to the relatively outdated techniques that require a large number of follicles to be extracted in one group. In addition, there is a possibility of removing too many/too few grafts due to the imprecise nature of the method.
With FUE, the surgeon will decide the exact number of grafts to be removed and extract each one by one. The individual extraction method and fine tools also ensure there is no linear scarring.
In comparison, Strip Extraction will always leave a scar. Due to the individual extraction method, FUE is also suitable for smaller size transplants, such as eyebrow or goatee transplant.