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Robotic Hair Transplants

A fast growing new trend

BaldnessHair loss is often an underestimated cosmetic concern. But studies have shown that watching our hair literally wash down the drain, leads to a range of detrimental effects on our psyche – depression, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, social withdrawal… just to name a few.

In the last few decades, hair restoration has been a growing trend in Aesthetic Medicine. Worldwide, there are estimated to be more than 800,000 hair transplant cases each year. And in Singapore, an increasing numbers of patients are realising that there is new hope for their tortured tresses.

The Evolution of Hair Transplants

The concept of harvesting permanent hair (from the back and sides of the head) and grafting it into barren areas originated in Japan before World War II. Initial methods of implanting hair plugs (patches of hair follicles) produced unnatural-looking results, and were soon replaced by the Strip (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) techniques.

FUT cuts a strip of scalp from the donor area, and individual follicular units are harvested and implanted. While we can transfer large numbers of follicles with this technique, there is the downside of a longer recovery time and scarring.

Woman losing hair on hairbrushFUE allows single follicular units to be extracted, which avoids any scarring, but the surgical time is much longer, and this technique is very much skill-dependent, based on the doctor’s precision and dexterity.

Since 2011, robot-assisted FUE has revolutionalised the medicine of hair restoration. Robots are no longer the stuff of comic books and science fiction movies! The ARTAS Robotic System now brings a new level of precision and accuracy to hair transplantation surgery, with significantly improved transplant success rates. There is also better patient comfort and swift recovery – patients can now return to normal activities in one or two days, wearing their hair in any style, and with no scarring.

Q: What is ARTAS Robotic System?

A: ARTAS Robotic System is an advanced physician-controlled, computer-assisted technology specialising in transplanting hair permanently from the back or sides to thinning areas of the scalp. Developed in 2011 in Palo Alto, California, it has since been FDA-approved, and awarded a gold medal in the 26th Edison Awards Ceremony in Chicago.

Q: How does the ARTAS Robotic System work?

A: The system comprises an image-guided robotic arm and digital imaging. Under the precise control of the doctor, each follicular unit is identified and accurately harvested. Hair position, angle, and other parameters are continuously re-calibrated to achieve optimum harvest results, while ensuring the donor areas retain their natural appearance. Hair is then transplanted to thinning areas based on the experience and artistry of the doctor to achieve an aesthetically pleasing success.

Q: What makes ARTAS stand out?

A: The advanced technology:

  • Stereo digital imagery guides all movement
  • High-resolution visualisation of each follicular unit
  • Dynamic re-calibration, even with patient’s movements
  • Selective harvest pattern to maintain the natural look of the donor site

The improved outcomes:

  • Minimally invasive, scarless surgery
  • Improved precision, consistency and accuracy
  • Low transection rates (8%, compared to 20% – 30% with FUE), and negligible wastage of donor hair
  • Reduced out-of-scalp time for grafts, leading to better survival and regrowth
  • Rapid recovery and return to normal social activities (three to five days)

Q: Am I suited for hair transplant?

A: Both men and women are suitable for this treatment. We get the best results with male pattern hair loss (frontal and vertex areas). Even patients with baldness due to trauma or burns will benefit from this. In Singapore, we also have an increasing number of patients undergoing hair transplant to create or enhance sideburns, eyebrows and beards!

Q: What can I expect after ARTAS hair transplant?

A: You may return to normal activities after a day or two. By one week after the procedure, both donor and recipient areas will look as before the procedure. The newly implanted hair gradually develops its own blood supply and starts its new growth cycle. New hair will gradually be seen about three months after the procedure, and continue to grow over the next year.

Hair transplant surgery today is a relatively painless procedure performed under local anaesthesia. The results are far superior to what they were just a few years ago. ARTAS adds a new dimension of precision and accuracy. But to design a new hairline, while making the most out of the patient’s precious donor hair to create a natural and aesthetically pleasing look requires much creative judgement and artistic skill. Facial shape, direction of hair growth, hair type, and other factors, have to be taken into consideration. The consultation should be a mutual sharing of the doctor’s clinical judgement and experience, as well as the patient’s honest needs and expectations.

With the ARTAS Robotic System, hair restoration has been brought to new levels of excellence. You can now get the hair you want, while keeping the look of the hair you have!

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Dr Phoon Yishan was awarded her Master of Medicine in Orthopaedics Surgery from National University of Singapore (NUS). She is fully accredited in aesthetic procedures such as filler injections, as well as cosmetic lasers, and has a special interest in hair transplant surgery. For more information, you can contact Dr Phoon Yishan from David Loh Surgery at phoonys@davidloh.sg.
Posted by ezyhealth on Jan 8 2015. Filed under Aesthetics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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