The FUT procedure originally derives from the old strip harvesting technique. The strip harvesting process had its own flaws that resulted in multiple complications. The issues included improper surgical planning, use of larger size hair grafts; punch grafting and improper suturing techniques.
During the 60s and 70s FUT hair transplantation was performed with the old strip harvesting technique under general anaesthesia. Surgeons unknowingly harvested larger chunks of about 4mm with hair grafts of about 7-10 hairs. This resulted in cosmetically unnatural results. This was continued over 2 decades until surgeons finally discovered follicular units.
As the hair would, with due donor dominance resume with normal growth, sometimes due to lack of ventilation, stuffy grafts would get traumatized and result in massive shock loss.
Punch grafting is another outdated old hair transplant procedure that used 2mm punches to pluck 4mm hair grafts which left big holes that resulted in while patches of scars when it healed.
Scalp reduction was a hair restoration procedure which was in the medical industry for a very short time. This unique procedure aimed to cut short bald patches by reducing the bald zone and bringing the haired areas closer. This procedure resulted in massive scarring and unsightly results that it was as soon outdated as soon it was introduced
With the advent of the follicular grafting principle, small micro-grafts replaced the bigger chunks of micro-grafting. But by this time the results of hair transplant surgery was so stigmatized that there were least number of seeking patients.
New developed surgeons identified that hair doesn’t grow as independently but follow a distinct grouping system. Thus microscopic dissection was introduced, while the old techniques didn’t always follow.
The strip harvesting technique used multiple bladed incisions which resulted in thin lines of multiple scars, which was then favored over one broad scar. But in this process, the hair follicles in between the slits would be clogged with the suturing resulting in unnecessary graft loss.
The single bladed incision is an advanced replacement to this which harvests a 2mm skin strip and advanced suturing techniques can reduce the scarring into a thin line instead of a broad scar.
The old techniques are not in practice today, and FUT hair transplant have indeed come a long way to become the most substantial hair transplant procedure. The new advancements of FUT strip harvesting is nothing like the old techniques except for the blue print of the procedure.