ARTAS Technology: How does it actually work in easy-to-understand terms?

Can you explain the process in layman's terms please.

Doctor Answers 12

The ARTAS® Robotic System is designed to fully automate separating the follicular units from the surrounding scalp

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The ARTAS® Robotic System assists with one type of surgical hair restoration procedure: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). In this procedure, the surgeon removes (harvests) follicular units directly from the donor region of a patient’s scalp (located on the back and sides of the head). These follicular units are individual, naturally-occurring groups of 1-4 hairs. The FUE procedure consists of two main steps: 1) physically separating a follicular unit (or graft) from the surrounding skin, and 2) carefully removing it from the scalp. The first step is what the robot does.

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.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

How does ARTAS work?

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The ARTAS Robotic System is a tool a physician uses to perform efficient, precise follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedures with unparalleled accuracy. This method of hair restoration allows a physician to remove the hair for transplantation from the donor area without using a scalpel, or creating any linear scarring, a telltale sign that a traditional linear strip type of hair restoration procedure has been performed. It allows very short hairstyles, which is a well-known limitation of the traditional procedures. The recovery time is significantly shortened, with noticeably less discomfort, and with less physical restrictions that following a traditional linear strip procedure.

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.

Ken Anderson, MD, FISHRS
Atlanta Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

Artas hair transplant

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The Artas machine is an amazing piece of expensive technology. A relatively inexperienced surgeon can harvest (drill out)  FUE grafts as well as an extremely experienced one using this technology. The Artas machine is now also able to make recipient site which has usually been done by an experienced surgeon. The result might be equal to what you could get with an experienced hair transplant team doing a strip harvest and microscopic dissection of grafts. The cost to you is likely greater. 

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. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon

Workings of ARTAS

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1 year ago,ARTAS uses high resolution cameras to precisely determine location and exit angles of the follicles in the donor area. It then employs its arm's tiny punches to free up these follicles. The follicles are pulled by hair techs after the ARTAS is done punching the donor tissue. For further information, please view our video.
Bernardino Arocha, MD

The ARTAS robotic hair transplant

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The ARTAS is a computer assisted robotic device that aids in performing a hair transplant. It essentially a device which aids the surgeon in performing follicular unit extraction (FUE) type procedures.  There are now three main ways to perform FUE:
  1. manual FUE
  2. motorized FUE 
  3. 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. 

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

It is a robot that drills holes

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ARTAS system is a robot with cameras to see your shaved hairs on the back of the scalp.
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.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

ARTS vs other harvesting technique

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There are two different techniques for donor harvesting in hair transplants, one is FUT or the strip method and the other is FUE. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a revival of the old punch technique obtaining donor hair with a small circular cutting instrument. There are different instruments used in the market to do FUE extraction punches. One instrument is the hand held manuel machine, another is the ARTS and finally there is the NEOGraft. All of these instrument use punches to harvest follicular units one at a time from the donor area.
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.

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How Does ARTAS work

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It is important to understand that hair transplant procedures consist of two phases:

  1. extraction phase
  2. 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.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

ARTAS - How Does It Work?

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ARTAS is a machine that removed FUE grafts directly from the scalp under 3D vision that estimates the angle and direction of hair follicles.  The machine reduces human exhaustion from repeated work however it might not be able to remove hair from certain areas like facial hair.

Parsa Mohebi, MD
Beverly Hills Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

ARTAS and Neograft -- FUE

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Artas is a robotic assisted follicular unit extraction (FUE) device -- it helps the surgeon remove units of hairs one by one.  Neograft is another machine that removes hair units one by one via the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique.  Both are great and produce similar results while avoiding the strip technique (FUT).  Consult with a facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, or dermatologist to discuss your options in person. I wish you well!

Parker A. Velargo, MD
New Orleans Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.