ARTAS Technology: How does it actually work in easy-to-understand terms?
Doctor Answers 12
The ARTAS® Robotic System is designed to fully automate separating the follicular units from the surrounding scalp
The separating of 100s or 1000s of follicular units from the surrounding donor tissue, is a highly repetitive process, and when it is done manually, it is a very labor intensive process that requires great manual precision. This subjects the patient to significant human variability and error. To remove this human variability, the ARTAS® Robotic System was designed to fully automate separating the follicular units from the surrounding scalp. This automated process is made possible by a sophisticated image-guided system. Specifically, it uses multiple cameras and intelligent image processing software to visually locate an individual follicular units. It then isolates them one-by-one from the patients donor area in a way that minimizes damage to the grafts. To further reduce the possibility of damage to follicular units, during harvesting, the ARTAS system continually monitors the location of the hair follicles on the patient’s scalp and is able to dynamically compensate for any patient movement. For example, it can compensate for slight movements due to patient breathing.
The ARTAS® System cannot yet perform the last step of the FUE procedure, placing the harvested follicular units back into the area of the scalp that has lost hair. Follicular unit placement is perhaps the most challenging part of the FUE procedure to automate, and this capacity will probably not be ready for at least several more years.
How does ARTAS work?
The ARTAS Robot Assisted FUE System scans and digitizes a small area of the scalp to identify and track each hair using complex software algorithms, and custom, stereoscopic surgical cameras. The cameras allow the computer inside the robot to "see" the hairs. Each follicle from the donor area is selectively harvested with minimal trauma to the hair follicle, and the surrounding skin in the donor area.
The main advantage is that no linear scar is created on the back and sides of the patient's scalp. The ARTAS robot removes the human error element to the FUE procedure, as it performs the procedure in an automated fashion under the guidance of a surgeon.
Artas hair transplant
To simplify things, a robot machine does a good proportion of the surgery at greater cost. The result could be equivalent to tried and true manual methods.
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Workings of ARTAS
Bernardino Arocha, MD
The ARTAS robotic hair transplant
- manual FUE
- motorized FUE
- robotic FUE.
The ARTAS does not function without the physician and his or her team. Rather, the physician and team are key to properly programming and operating the ARTAS robot. Programming and readjusting settings on the computer are key to producing consistent results.
The ARTAS is a fantastic tool for certain patients, especially those with darker and straighter hair. It is less beneficial for those with curly hair. Only an experienced surgeon can identify who is a good candidate for ARTAS and who should not use it. When used for the right patient, the precision and accuracy and consistency are unparalleled.
The computer software allows the physician to program several key parameters including whether preferentially 1 haired, 2, haired or 3 haired grafts are desired. The size of the follicular unit punch can also be adjusted (1 mm or 0.9 mm punch).
The ARTAS is an important advance in modern hair restoration.
It is a robot that drills holes
A computer analysis the image and a "punch/ drill" cores out the hair follicle punching and drilling trough your scalp about 5 mm deep. This process is what we call FUE (except a robot is doing it).
A human will come and remove (pull out) the grafts and look at it under a microscope to make sure the grafts are intact.
ARTS vs other harvesting technique
ARTS facilitates the extraction stage of the FUE, however it is associated with graft burial during this stage. Due to its larger tip, there may be some collateral damage to the surrounding hairs as well, which will limit the number of hair available for extraction. this larger tip also contributes to larger circular scaring in the donor area. NEO graft also contributes to collateral damage and some burial of the graft during the extraction stage. However one needs to keep in mind that donor harvesting whether using Neograft or ARTS have nothing to do with the overall final result of the hair transplantation.
The extraction of the hair from the donor area has nothing to do with how the hair will look in the recipient area. The recipient area is another aspect of the hair transplantation which should be discussed and planed out in detail.
For the recipient area design, a good specialized hair transplant doctor should know how to distribute the units, where to place the hair line, which customized needles to use for the incisions, how to angle the needles, and the orientation of the incisions. These are just a few things to consider when making the incisions in the recipient area. So it is very important to chose an experienced doctor both for harvesting of the grafts and also for design and placement of grafts to the recipient area and discuss the options in detail to make sure it meets your concerns and expectations.
How Does ARTAS work
It is important to understand that hair transplant procedures consist of two phases:
- extraction phase
- graft insertion phase
Artas was designed only to perform the extractions in a Follicular Unit Extraction procedure. While the demand for FUE has increased, the number of qualified surgeons to perform these operations has not quite met this rate.
It takes time and experience for a doctor to develop the skill to identify healthy follicles on the head for graft extraction and to position the punch accurately around these structures to remove them. Artas was developed with algorithms to facilitate this process for physicians who are less experienced.
It is restricted to individuals with dark, straight hair. And it can only perform extractions on the back of the head, which can limit the number of grafts available to the patient.
In considering a hair transplant doctor, prospective patients are best advised to focus on photographic or video evidence of successful results on past individuals. This would include both coverage and the skill used when inserting the follicles to recreate natural hair growth patterns on the head. Technology alone can never substitute a truly skilled doctor with the ability to create the best aesthetic outcome possible for the patient.
The means by which follicles are extracted would be secondary to the quality of outcome one is likely to receive.