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Men's Health Author: Wendy Lewis, Beauty and Skincare Columnist Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

The Biggest Hair Restoration Breakthrough: Robotic Surgery

By Wendy Lewis, Beauty and Skincare Columnist
Jul 16, 2014 - 2:38:10 PM

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( - Up until fairly recently, hair transplants could be spotted from a mile away. Men were embarrassed by unnatural-looking rows of hair plugs, visible scars, and social stigma. The procedure was invasive, bloody and painful, and required weeks off of work to fully recover.

Fast forward to 2014 and the ARTAS® Robotic System, the first and only FDA-cleared robotic hair transplant technology, is changing those old misconceptions about hair restoration. This innovative technology offers the benefits of greater precision, control, and reproducibility, and leading hair restoration surgeons are taking notice.

According to Robert M. Bernstein, MD, FAAD, founder of Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration in New York City, "Follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedures have progressed from using labor-intensive, hand-held instruments all the way to a computer-assisted, image-guided robot. It dissects follicular units accurately and consistently, thousands of times in a single session."

The imaging system displays the patient's scalp magnified on a 55" screen so the surgeon can evaluate the field. Visualizing the surface in three dimensions, the ARTAS System uses programmed algorithms to select and harvest the most robust follicles. Physicians can adjust settings without interrupting the procedure and the robot is able to compensate for patient movement.

The ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant is turning out to be a highly sought after clinically validated procedure for patients. James A. Harris, MD, FACS, Medical Director, The Hair Sciences Center of Colorado in Greenwood Village, CO, explains, "The robot addresses patients' goals of what Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) offers, which is less pain, more predictable clinical results, no linear scar, and the latest new technology."

The benefits of the ARTAS Procedure to men seeking hair restoration are numerous. The minimally invasive method offers a rapid recovery, virtually pain-free, and there is no tissue excision or stitches needed. Due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, men typically are able to return to their normal activities the very next day. According to Dr. Harris, the ability to wear hair in any style, short or long, is a major plus. "The system has been particularly helpful for men who like to wear their hair short where a visible donor scar would be of cosmetic concern, and also for men who prefer not to have a linear scar or sutures following surgery."

Results are very natural-looking and permanent. According to Dr. Bernstein, the procedure is very comfortable and easily tolerated. The ARTAS Robotic System is an attractive option for men who would not normally consider hair restoration surgery, due to recovery time and visible scarring, among other factors. So more men are seeking out the robotic procedure as a more advanced solution to receding hairlines and baldness.

"Robotic extraction has been greatly improved since the first machines were introduced over three years ago and the ARTAS robot is now used by over 70 surgeons worldwide," said Dr. Bernstein. "We are comfortable offering it to patients as the state of the art procedure for permanent hair restoration. FUE increases about 5% every year based on statistics from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons ( I predict that in three to five years, the ARTAS Robotic Procedure will be the dominant method used around the world."

Restoration Robotics is launching ARTAS Hair StudioTM, an innovative interactive tool designed to transform the patient hair consultation experience and take the speculation out of hair restoration. The software is a photograph-based, three-dimensional modeling tool that allows hair restoration physicians to share their aesthetic vision with patients, while receiving real-time feedback. Until now, it has been a challenge for patients to imagine what the results of hair transplantation could look like on their own head. Using actual photos of the patients, the ARTAS Hair Studio software generates a three-dimensional model on a touchscreen tablet, which allows physicians to customize a recipient site pattern design - creating hairlines and specifying hair location, distribution densities and growth directions. It also permits patients to visualize how a simulated number of grafts will appear on the scalp, with the intention of increasing the predictability and confidence of the outcome.

The state-of-the-art tool improves procedural understanding by the patient as well as the conceptual understanding of the projected outcomes. This added element of collaboration is an important factor toward ensuring greater patient satisfaction.

According to Dr. Bernstein, "With the addition of recipient site creation to the ARTAS Robotic System, we are one step closer to fully-automated robotic hair transplantation."

To find an ARTAS hair restoration surgeon, visit

Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd Global Aesthetics Consultancy, author of 11 books and Founder/Editor in Chief of


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