ARTAS:  Robotic No-Incision Hair Restoration

Although this website is really dedicated to facial plastic surgery matters, and I have a separate website, www.hairtx.com, for hair matters, every now and then something major comes up that is worth my mentioning even in a facial blog here.  The ARTAS Robotic hair restoration system is one of those subjects.

In the past, the only way I had to harvest hair has been a linear incision from the back of the head.  With good technique and with healing agents that I use like platelet rich plasma (PRP), I can get very well healed scars that are hard to see.  In women, this approach still makes the most sense.  However, there are a select group of men who do not want an incision and who desire to wear their hair very short of only several millimeters in length.  These individuals would benefit from this robotic system since there is no incision on the back of the head so there would not be a visible line there with this short a hairstyle.

How does this robot do it?  The principals in this company also founded the Da Vinci robotic system that has been used successfully in male prostate surgery and other clinical applications.  The ARTAS system carefully calculates the angle and depth of penetration that are required to harvest each follicular unit (or bunch of 1 to 4 hairs) from the back of the head with a small punch, one painstaking follicular unit at a time.  In the past, this method known as follicular unit extraction (or FUE) was a tedious and oftentimes inaccurate way of harvesting for example with older methods like NEOGRAFT or hand drills.  Now, the ARTAS robot provides unparalleled ability to harvest with greater precision than ever before.  This machine is so big that it has completely taken over my third treatment room!  The one major drawback with this machine is that you must shave your head (we do that for you) down to 1 mm in order for the machine to work.  That is a small price to pay for younger men but is not a great option for older men and women who would not prefer to do that.  Also, the robot is not ideal for African hair that has a natural curl under the skin that prevents an FUE method.

Sam M. Lam, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To schedule a consultation please call (972) 312-8188. Click to to learn more about the FUE hair transplant.