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FUT vs. FUE- Hair Consultation

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  • Senior Member

The best thing I have done so far in my journey was jump on the chance to have an in person consultation with the world renowned, Dr. Bisanga. Thanks to this amazing forum, I learned he was coming to the Washington DC, US area last month near where I live. Dr. Bisanga is outstanding, down to earth, ethical and easy to get along with!

I will be 48 in 2 weeks, and have been classified as a NW5/6, 5a, NW5 going on a 6 by several doctors.

What was different about meeting with Dr. Bisanga is he did a very close and accurate inspection of my donor including measuring the height, literally cutting a few pieces from my donor to measure density and follicular groupings, combing through and inspecting with what I think was a magnifying glass and a dermoscopy to check the health of the scalp.

What I learned (which was not a surprise) is that I have on the low side of average donor, although my hair is salt and pepper and curly (I learned that it is not uncommon for curly hair to come with a slightly lower density). I have approximately 15k follicular units in my donor, of which between 6k-6.5k could be harvested for implantation (this was good news to me and more than for what I had hoped). In addition, the doctor inspected my beard and said 'you have a good beard!' Upon questioning, it sounded as if he thought I could have between 4-5k lifetime beard grafts.

Now for the interesting part...I was prepared for him to advise doing maybe an FUT/FUE combo, but NO...Dr. Bisanga strongly recommended 2 surgeries via FUE which in total, would comprise of 7-8k grafts which would consist of between 5-5.5k scalp and 2-2.5k beard. He said he would leave 1-1.5k scalp grafts in case 'I lose my sides'.

When I questioned him on FUT and more donor grafts, he stated that sometime or a lot of times (I forget exactly) with FUT, the hair miniaturizes below the strip making hair not harvestable. I then asked, 'when do you do FUT on a patient?' to which he said, if a patient wants to get as many grafts in one sitting and doesn't mind a linear scar and never plans to cut hair short.

The bottom line which I took away and from further talk with Ian their fantastic patient advisor is they prefer to do FUE whenever possible as they see it as less risky. Dr. Bisanga said that he thought too many doctors push people into FUT as they are not experts in FUE.

Finally, after 1.5 years of finasteride, I was having some (very minor) gyno issues and halted for a month- since then I am taking a half dose daily which is going fine, but he recommended I boost my 2.5mg oral minoxidil dose to 5mg daily and seemed confident that that alone (without finasteride) would 'keep the hair growing'. He also spoke about the success patients were having with topical finasteride (.25%) and not experiencing side effects.

Hope this helps everyone out there through the maze of conflicting doctor opinions. What I like about Dr. Bisanga is that he has 20+ years of experience and is a master of FUT, FUE and BHT.


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