Strip Excision (SE) Surgery in La Jolla and San Diego

The gold standard for hair transplantation surgery revolves around donor harvest, which is based upon the removal of a strip of tissue from the donor area. It is often mislabeled as the “FUT” method (in reality “FUT” stands for “follicular unit transplantation”- this describes the overall use of grafting/transplantation using only follicular units), when in fact, Strip Excision (“SE”) more accurately describes this surgical step.

Despite the popularity of using the FUE method as a primary means of obtaining donor hair by a great number of practices over the last 7 years, Dr. Carman has remained committed to using grafts created from the strip excision harvest as a primary means of conducting high quality, long-lasting hair transplant surgery.

Graft for graft, strip excision (SE) harvested grafts are consistent of a higher quality than FUE grafts in general. This ensures consistent results across all patient presentations.

In terms of the overall, long-term effects of SE (“FUT”) vs FUE harvest on the donor area, the quality and density (measured in hair mass) of the donor’s hair remain essentially unchanged when utilizing SE (“FUT”) donor harvest. In other words, the quality and appearance of the donor’s hair remain unchanged.

This is in contrast to the generalized decreased density (measured in hair mass) which occurs with the FUE method, which thins the hair in the donor area. This process worsens with each subsequent procedure.


Strip Excision Before Procedure

Strip Excision After Procedure


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Strip Excision (SE) (or “FUT”)

Strip Excision (SE) is a surgical hair transplant technique wherein the grafts used for the procedure are harvested in a linear strip taken from the donor area. This represents the “Gold Standard” for obtaining donors’ hair. The harvested tissue is then dissected under a microscope to create the individual follicular units.

The advantages of SE (“FUT”) are as follows:

  • Consistent high-quality, life-long lasting grafts.
  • No generalized loss of hair mass in the donor area (No donor “thinning”).
  • Most efficient use of potential donor hair.
  • Shorter recovery time (No shaving of donor area).

Disadvantages of an SE (“FUT”) are as follows:

  • A linear scar is seen when the head is shaved.

Am I a Good Candidate for Strip Excision (SE) Surgery?

The best candidates for Strip Excision are individuals who are willing to undergo surgery to restore hair. Hair loss is different for men and women, but Strip Excision can be performed on both, as long as there is enough healthy hair to use for transplantation.

Individuals with total alopecia may not be considered for strip excision. Those with male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness will be assessed further during the consultation to confirm eligibility for the procedure.

The Strip Excision (SE) Surgery Consultation

During the consultation, you will be asked about your complete medical history. Hair loss can be a result of taking certain medications or undergoing treatments like chemotherapy.

If the reason for hair loss is ongoing medication or treatment for a medical condition, you may be asked to complete your treatment first. This will help you get the best results from strip excision.

For this procedure, patients are advised to quit smoking for at least 4-6 weeks and to avoid drinking alcohol for at least 48 hours before and after the procedure.

How to Prepare for Strip Excision (SE)

Before the strip excision appointment, patients must arrange for time off work. They must postpone all strenuous activities, including heavy exercise and sports.

On the day of the procedure, patients must wash their hair. Patients must wait up to 2-3 days before washing their hair again. Our team may recommend a specific shampoo to prevent any complications.

On the day of their surgery, patients must also wear clothes that are easy to change. Button-down tops are highly recommended.

The SE (“FUT”) Hair Transplant Procedure

A SE (“FUT”) harvested procedure can be broken down into 3 distinct sub-procedures.

  1. Strip Excision:
    During the excision phase, the follicular units are harvested from the donor region in a linear strip of tissue, which traditionally is located on the back and the sides of the scalp. The hair is kept at its normal (long) length (no shaving). After removal of the strip, the tissue edges are brought together with traditional plastic surgery closure techniques, leaving a fine 2 mm linear scar.
  2. Site Creation phase:
    The second part of a SE (“FUT”) procedure is creating the places in the recipient area to insert the follicular units for transplant. The follicular units must be set into the scalp at exactly the right depth, angle, location, and density to achieve a completely natural and aesthetically satisfying appearance. In addition, this needs to be done without damaging the patient’s pre-existing hair.
  3. Graft Placement Phase:
    Grafts created from the strip are placed in the recipient area. This part of the procedure may last for 3 to 4 hours or more, dependent on the number of follicular units that are extracted for your procedure.

Really great experience!

“Dr. Timothy Carman is the best! He really made me feel comfortable being there, he’s very easy to talk with and Pam is the best the nicest person you’ll ever meet and the ladies working with Dr. Carman are so nice and professional. I truly felt very comfortable being there and I researched other places and had consultations at other places but I felt most comfortable with Dr. Carman he made me feel like a friend versus a patient. He takes pride and has passion for what he does and that is what’s most important in this line of work. He’s a true artist and I had my procedure done 2 months ago and I couldn’t be happier, I Highly recommend!!! 👍👍👍”



Recovery After A SE (“FUT”) Procedure

The recovery time for SE (“FUT”) vs FUE is related more so to the appearance of the back of the patient’s head; the hair is shaved very close in FUE, not at all in SE. Thus, from a donor perspective, the recovery in terms of appearance in SE (“FUT”) donor harvest procedures is instantaneous. No one can tell any surgery was done as the preexisting hair completely covers the incision site. Sutures are removed 7- 10 days after the procedure.

How Much Does a Strip Excision Hair Transplant Cost?

Our team is dedicated to helping patients comfortably afford this investment in themselves. Hair transplants are elective procedures that involve costs that may be too significant for many individuals. During your consultation visit, Dr. Carman and our staff will review what surgery options are available for you to achieve your cosmetic goals. We will also provide you with payment options including credit cards and patient financing.

Contact Our Office

Our highly skilled team at La Jolla Hair Restoration Medical Center® has over 20 years of experience helping patients achieve their ideal results. We’ll work with you from beginning to end to address any questions you have and to make sure you understand the entire process. If you would like to learn more about strip excision surgery, contact our office to schedule your consultation today.

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