ARTAS® Robotic Procedure
Robotic hair transplant surgery (ARTAS Robotic Procedure) is the most advanced therapy for hair transplantation. The ARTAS® Robotic System uses artificial intelligence, 3D treatment planning software and sophisticated precision robotics to harvest follicular units and create aesthetic personalized recipient sites for follicular unit implantation. The advantages of the ARTAS Robotic Procedure over conventional hair transplants are having no linear scar in the donor area, having no post-operative limitations on physical activity and achieving natural aesthetic personalized results.
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Silicon Valley Hair Institute is fortunate to have pioneered the use of the ARTAS robotic hair transplantation for San Francisco Bay Area patients in our Foster City, California, location. Convenient to San Francisco, San Mateo, and Palo Alto as well as other Bay Area cities, we are a respected place for those seeking Bay Area ARTAS robotic hair transplant procedures.
The ARTAS robot’s advanced optical guidance system locates and extracts follicular units according to specifications programmed by the physician. It carries out this process hundreds to thousands of times per session with speed and accuracy that is impossible to duplicate with the human hand. The robot also creates aesthetically natural and personalized recipient site patterns for the placement of follicular units according to an aesthetic plan designed by the physician.
As Medical Director of Restoration Robotics, Inc., Dr. Miguel Canales pioneered the clinical developement of the ARTAS Robotic Procedure. Dr. Canales established the standards of clinical excellence for robotic hair transplantation, is named on over 11 critical patents on robotic hair transplantation and has trained the most re-known physicians throughout the world on the ARTAS Procedure. Dr. Canales served as Medical Director for Restoration Robotics, the company that manufactures the ARTAS hair transplant robot, for a decade.
Potential Advantages of the ARTAS Robotic Procedure Compared to Conventional Surgery
- No linear scar, no detectable scarring in the Donor Area
- Increased survival of harvested follicular units
- Less pain, discomfort and down-time
- Less invasive approach enables makes hair restoration an option for younger patients
- Intelligent algorithms maximize the harvest of follicular units that contain the most hair which minimizes wounding
- Easier harvest of follicular units in patients from different racial backgrounds (e.g. curly hair from patients of African descent)
- Creating aesthetically personalized recipient sites to achieve more natural aesthetic results. The ARTAS System is able to create recipient sites that match the hair angle, direction and elevation of pre-existing hair in the recipient site area.
- Robotic recipient site-making potentially reduces the incidence of “shock loss” by avoiding damage to pre-existing hair in the recipient area. The robot detects pre-existing hair and makes incisions beside them.
- Eliminates the significant human error due to fatigue and the imprecision/variability of hand-eye coordination
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the ARTAS Procedure (Robotic Hair Transplantation)?
A robotic hair transplant is a type of hair restoration procedure where donor hair is removed directly from the back and sides of the scalp using robotic control. In robotic hair transplantation, a small needle removes
individual follicular units (naturally occurring groups of 1-4 hairs) from the surrounding tissue so they can be gathered and implanted in the balding areas. This process is very tedious and exacting, and when it is performed using manual instruments it often leads to significant damage or injury to the follicles.
Robotic technology allows the hair transplantation procedure to be performed in a more precise and consistent way, ultimately maximizing the growth of the grafts. In a robotic hair transplant, follicular units are extracted one at a time by the image-guided, computer-driven system called the ARTAS Robotic System, a technology developed by the company Restoration Robotics. Dr. Canales pioneered the clinical development of the ARTAS Robotic Procedure and served as the Medical Director of Restoration Robotics for a decade.
Is There an Ideal Patient for the ARTAS Procedure?
The robotic hair transplant can be performed on any patient who is a candidate for a hair transplant. In general, robotic hair transplantation particularly well suited to patients who wish to wear their hair at any length (e.g. short fashionable hair styles), who are very physically active and want to return to sports or rigorous activity as soon as possible. Robotic hair transplantation is also the treatment of choice for patients with very tight scalps or who have an increased risk of donor scarring.
Because of Dr. Canales’ expertise on robotic hair transplantation, the ARTAS Procedure can be implemented on patients with a variety of hair types such as curly, wavy, and on helical hair(e.g. hair from patients of African ancestry) and on women.
How Does the ARTAS System Work?
The ARTAS System is composed of a robotic arm, dual-needle punch mechanism, video imaging system, and computer user interface. Its extraction technique consists of a double-needle arrangement with an inner (sharp) needle and outer (dull) punch. The inner needle has a cutting capability and is used to score the upper most part of the skin. The outer punch dissects the follicular units from the surrounding tissue, with the blunt edge helping to minimize injury to the grafts. This sharp/blunt technique has significantly reduced the incidence of follicular transection (damage to the grafts). The image-guided technology allows this step to be accomplished with micron-level precision.
The patient is positioned a specially designed chair (similar to a massage chair) that allows access of the robotic arm to the donor area of the scalp. A grid-like device called a skin tensioner is applied to the donor area of the patient’s scalp. The tensioner contains fiducials on its outer border which the robot “reads” for proper orientation; the robotic needle system isolates the grafts within the grid. The physician then advances the robotic arm into position to allow the robot to analyze the fiducials for proper orientation. There is a remote control that the surgeon uses to control the actions of the robot. The surgeon then selects various parameters in the computer algorithm, including the depth of the sharp and blunt punches (which can be measured with markings seen on the needle), the angle which the robot enters the scalp to perform the punch, and a variable distance between the follicular unit punches performed by the robot. The robot is then automated to isolate the follicular unit grafts within the grid utilizing these parameters.
Once the system has made incisions around a hundred or more follicular units, special forceps are used to extract the units from the scalp and place them in a special holding solution. This process is repeated until the prescribed number of follicular units to be transplanted has been extracted from the donor area. The follicular units are then implanted manually into recipient sites in the balding area and the transplant is complete.
How Long Does a Robotic Procedure Take?
The length of your hair transplant procedure will depend upon how many follicular units are transplanted. Small to medium size sessions (fewer than 2,500 grafts) generally take one day. Larger FUE sessions may be performed over two consecutive days.
How Does Recovery from a Robotic Hair Transplant Compare to Conventional Hair Transplant Surgery?
Recovering from a robotic hair transplant is quicker than conventional surgery. Compared to strip surgery, the donor area heals faster and with less discomfort. Patients usually only require Tylenol or Ibuprofen after surgery as opposed to narcotics in strip surgery recovery.
Also, with robotic hair transplant there are no limitations on strenuous exercise after the pr
ocedure. After Robotic FUE you can resume your normal routine after one or two days. While robotic hair transplant does not leave a linear visible scar as with strip surgery.
Because of this, you will be able to wear your hair shorter after a robotic procedure than after strip surgery.
Does an ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant Require Stitches?
The ARTAS Procedure is a minimally invasive hair transplant therapy that does not require stitches or surgical staples. Instead of the sutured donor incision of a strip surgery, robotic hair transplant leaves tiny round incisions that heal with small white marks that are imperceptible even with short hair.
Does the Robot Work with Dark, Blonde, Gray, Curly, White, or Ethnic Hair?
The ARTAS Robotic System is able to perform on dark hair, blonde hair, gray hair, very curly hair and African helical hair. With ethnic hair we use a 1.0mm punch instead of a 0.9mm punch. People who have white hair need to dye their hair before the robotic hair transplantation in order for the robot to best visualize the hair follicles.
Does the ARTAS Procedure Eliminate Pain and Scarring?
Robotic hair transplantation is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure performed under long-acting local anesthesia – usually a combination of lidocaine and bupivacaine. After the initial injections, the patient doesn’t experience any pain or discomfort. In contrast to a strip surgery procedure which can be uncomfortable in the donor area for days to weeks following surgery, with robotic hair transplantation, there is no discomfort once the procedure is completed and the anesthesia wears off. All surgical procedures may produce a scar. Robotic hair transplantation in contrast to the linear scar produced by strip surgery, leaves fine, white dots easily covered by hair or can be undetectable. Scarring can be minimized with robotic hair transplantation by programming the robot to select only the larger follicular so that there will be more hair, on average, obtained per harvest.
Can I See a Preview of How My Hair Will Look After My Robotic Hair Transplant?
The ARTAS Hair Studio is an innovative unique software program that allows surgeons to help patients see his/her personalized hair restoration outcome through a visualization of the planned results. The software creates a 3-D digitized model of the person’s head which can be used to demonstrate how the results will appear. The surgeon can even show the patient anticipated results using different numbers or densities of grafts. The software also aids the physician in explaining important details of the transplant design. As a result, the patient is more engaged in the process and can better understand the rationale behind the surgeon’s recommended plan.