Robot Can Now Perform Implantation Step of a Hair Transplant

Robot Can Now Perform Implantation Step of a Hair Transplant

Robot Can Now Perform Implantation Step of a Hair Transplant

Robert M. Bernstein, MD, FAAD, introduced the Robotic Implantation of Follicular Unit Grafts at the 26th World Congress of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS).

To the audience of over 550 hair restoration surgeons, Dr. Bernstein explained how this new robotic capability can help the physician make the hair transplant procedure even more accurate and precise, while further reducing the variabilities brought on by human error and physician fatigue.

After years of development, this innovation of the ARTAS Robotic System, called ARTAS iX, has recently been cleared by the FDA for implantation. It builds upon the technology of the first nine iterations of the ARTAS System and adds implantation as a significant functionality. With this system, the physician inputs the surgical plan into the computer and the robot automatically carries out the incision and mechanical graft insertion.

This latest advance allows three of the four mechanical steps of a hair transplant procedure; harvesting, recipient site creation and now implantation to be automated.

Harvested grafts are loaded, 25 at a time, into rectangular cartridges. The cartridges are then inserted into the firing arm of the robot. The physician adjusts for density, direction, and depth of the incision, as well as the depth of graft implantation. The system currently can implant up to 500 grafts per hour.

Dr. Bernstein said: “One of the main advantages of using cartridges with robotic implantation over manual techniques is that there is much less risk of crush injury to the grafts.”

During manual implantation, the grafts are generally grasped by the bulb, or just below the sebaceous glands, and then dragged into the incision risking considerable damage in the process.

In contrast, in robotic procedures, a cartridge is loaded by grasping the graft at the top and then gently placing it into the cartridge channel. By avoiding the lower portion of the follicles, this system eliminates unnecessary injury to the growth centers of the transplanted hair.

With robotic implantation, the physician creates a digital recipient site plan that is communicated directly into the robot’s computer. This includes the size, distribution, density, direction and angle of the sites. Once the system is positioned over the patient’s scalp, the cartridge is loaded into the arm mechanism and implantation begins.

As with all hair transplant surgery, the physician’s skill and judgement remain a critical aspect of the procedure. But, now that implantation can be performed robotically, the ARTAS robotic system is an even more powerful tool for the hair transplant surgeon when performing the more labor-intensive aspects of the process.

About Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration

Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, founded by Dr. Bernstein in 2005, is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss in men and women using the most advanced technologies.

In 2011, Bernstein Medical became one of the first physicians worldwide to use the image-guided, computer-driven technology of the ARTAS Robotic System in clinical practice. Bernstein Medical is a beta-testing site for the study of new product features and enhancements in the robot. The state-of-the-art facility is in midtown, New York City, where Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Shaver treat hair loss patients from around the globe.

Robot Can Now Perform Implantation Step of a Hair Transplant