Last month, we hosted the world's first workshop featuring the ARTAS Robotic System - a revolutionary device that harvests donor hair for transplant surgery - here in the UK at the Farjo Hair Institute.
There are only three ARTAS machines in Europe, so we were proud to be showcasing one of them to hair restoration surgeons from across the globe at our Manchester premises. My peers watched as my team and I demonstrated the new technology, which, I believe, represents the next step in hair transplant surgeries.
There are two different methods of hair transplant surgery; donor hairs can be harvested by follicular unit extraction (FUE), where individual hair grafts are taken and moved to the area suffering hair loss, or via follicular unit transplantation or 'strip surgery' (FUT). This method sees a strip of hair-bearing skin taken from the donor area at the back of the head and moved to the recipient area, after dissecting it microscopically into the individual hair grafts. FUT is more commonplace out of the two, however, for those wishing to maintain a very short hairstyle after their surgery, FUE is more likely to be carried out, as patients are left with no linear scars in the donor site.
The robotic system allows surgeons, such as myself, to carry out robotic FUE and work with more precision when extracting hair follicles for transplantation, compared to current manual extraction methods. Plus the robot has the ability to work without breaks or tiredness - a human risk when performing any surgery!
Scientific advancements are constantly being made, and the ARTAS Robotic System is one of the latest tools to be made widely available to surgeons specialising in hair transplant surgery - a procedure that's evolving very quickly. At the workshop, hair transplant surgeons from around the world gained intimate access to the ARTAS system, allowing them to closely watch the robot at work, learn about its methods of follicular unit extraction and hear from experts and patients alike.
ARTAS is controlled by the surgeon and can work very efficiently at high speeds. It operates by scanning the scalp to identify the most densely populated areas of hair before taking grafts from these areas. With all grafts taken from areas with thick hair growth, patients will see a natural end result as the donor areas will be impossible to detect by the untrained eye.
It's particularly apt that the industry has developed this revolutionary robotic system to help hone the art of hair transplant surgery, as the procedure has now overtaken rhinoplasty as the UK's most common cosmetic surgical treatment for men.
We're all very excited about the latest technology to enter the hair transplant surgery world. It's imperative that we continue to research and develop pioneering advancements in our field to better serve those suffering from hair loss.