In some patients who have limited donor hair supply, where graft yield needs to be maximized and where the donor supply also needs to be protected for the future, it is often the best policy to combine FUT strip surgery harvesting with FUE technique harvesting to get the best of both worlds. Combining FUT and FUE is beneficial in the following types of cases:
- Patients with good donor areas who want large amounts of grafts transplanted in one session (mega or giga transplant), e.g., harvesting 5000 grafts or more for transplanting in one session. This requires a near maximum FUT Strip harvest while still remaining within safe parameters as far as strip width is concerned, because the balance of the grafts can be harvested via FUE technique. Using this approach, half the graft total can be harvested via FUT strip surgery and the other half via FUE technique. It enables a large amount of grafts, but a good balance can be maintained between combining FUT and FUE harvests.
- Patients where we simply want to harvest a specific number of grafts, e.g., 2500 grafts, but we don’t want to be limited by what can be harvested via a FUT strip only. This then enables us to do a relatively conservative FUT strip harvest with regard to the strip width, which allows for minimal wound closing tension and a thin scar line, camouflaged by trichopytic closure. Example: We take a conservative strip width and length that delivers only 1800 grafts, and harvest the balance of 700 grafts via FUE technique. The grafts are harvested in a balanced and even way, protecting the Donor Area for the future.
- Patients with limited donor supplies and large recipient areas where the maximum number of grafts need to be harvested in order to achieve the best possible aesthetic result, while still protecting the donor area from over-depletion.
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