There are many clinics and doctors who confuse patients by concept of safe donor area in hair transplant to prove FUT technique superior to FUE Technique. Lets understand that who gave this concept in hair transplant and how the facts given by their research has been distorted by many clinics to promote the FUT hair transplant.
Safe Donor Area advances the fundamental principle of “donor dominance” established by Dr. Norman Orentreich. The objective in hair transplantation is to use only hairs that are destined to remain permanently in their original site. To answer this question, Dr Walter P. Unger meticulously examined the scalps of 328 randomly chosen men with varying degrees of Male pattern baldness (MPB) who were over the age of 65 years.
Dr. Unger was able to outline a zone containing the hair follicles that were the most likely to be relatively permanent in approximately 80% of patients under 80 years of age. In this research Dr Unger found these facts. The width of permanent donor area is from top of left ear to top of right ear . That is roughly 25 – 30 cm (10 – 12 inch ) . The safe donor area was about 70 mm (7 cm or about 3 inch ) in height . When we do FUT or strip technique, only 2 cm height is utilized out of available 7 cm from safe donor area . Still a lot of safe donor area is left which can be used a donor site for FUE or doing FUT again in future. If we want to utilize full 7 cm width we can harvest even 3000 – 4000 grafts from FUE alone. If we want to use FUT + FUE from safe donor area , we can harvest upto 5000 grafts from safe donor area. This quantitative model of a safe donor area has been and should continue to serve as the fundamental foundation in hair follicle harvesting for hair transplant, whether the grafts are being obtained via strip harvesting or via Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
As implied above, the safe donor area concept is true regardless of whether the grafts has been obtained by strip harvesting or FUE.