Advances in hair transplantation: Longitudinal partial follicular unit transplantation
There are different techniques of hair transplantation. The most common and known hair transplantation methods are the 'strip' method, where a strip of skin containing hair follicles is removed, cut into grafts and implanted in the recipient area, and the follicle unit extraction (FUE) method, in which whole follicle units are extracted one by one and implanted one by one back into the recipient area. The FUE method is more patient friendly and leaves only tiny scars compared to the strip method, which leaves visible linear scars at the donor area. Both methods, however, have the major disadvantage that the extracted hair follicles are removed and the availability of donor hair follicles are limited and results in a decrease in hair density, as no re-grow will occur in the donor area. Since partial longitudinal-follicular unit transplantation (PL-FUT) extracts partial longitudinal follicular units that can be used as complete follicular units to regenerate completely differentiated hair growth and the partial follicular units that remain in the dermis in the donor area can survive and produce hair, PL-FUT enables us to multiply hair follicles in vivo while preserving the donor area. Although this technique is suitable for androgenic alopecia, PL-FUT could also be suitable in persons who have a relative small donor area compared to the recipient area like burn victims, as well as scarring alopecia's like frontal fibrosing alopecia.