The ARTAS Robot
Yesterday we did a video segment on the ARTAS and so today I'll review with you the ARTAS machine.
The ARTAS is a robotic method of performing follicular unit extraction hair restoration. ARTAS received FDA approved in 2011. The device consists of a computer connected to a mechanical arm which in turn connects to two things - a video imaging interface (with multiple cameras) and a punch device. The entire system is controlled by the surgeon - either with a remote control device or with the computer.
The ARTAS Punch
The punch is a circular device which removes the grafts from the skin. There are two aspects to the punch - one inner sharp punch and one outer dull punch. The first inner sharp punch scores the skin to a depth of about 1/16th of an inch. The is followed by the outer dull punch with extracts the grafts.
Advantages of ARTAS
The ARTAS has three main advantages in my opinion
One important limitation of manual follicular unit extraction is surgeon fatigue. After 2500-3000 grafts fatigue sets in. Is the quality of graft 3000 the same as graft 1? We hope so! But the ARTAS does not fatigue. To the robot, graft 3000 is just the same as graft 1. The accuracy and precision of the robot are unparalleled.
2. Graft quality
For the right patient, the quality of grafts can be very high because the robot helps limit damage to the grafts (what we call transection). With better grafts, the survival is likely higher. With higher survival of grafts, the result for the patient is better density.
At top speeds the robot can extract up to 600 follicular units per hours. Faster speed means shorter procedures for the patient, and less time for the grafts to be out of the body... which in turn means better graft survival.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887