Q: I’ve heard it takes the artistry of the surgeon to create a natural looking hair transplant. How do you do this with a robot?
A: I currently create the recipient sites by hand using different size needles. They determine the angle, direction and distribution of the grafts, and these three variables determine the aesthetic aspects of the hair transplant.
However, I am now currently working with Restoration Robotics to have the ARTAS System create recipient sites and we are currently beta-testing this technology. The robot can now make very precise recipient sites. The ability of the robot to mimic the art of the surgeon is in the works, and we expect it to be ready in the fall of 2014.
In this new robotic-assisted process, the surgeon designs the hairline and delineates the area to be transplanted directly on the patient’s scalp. The surgeon then photographs the patient’s scalp and feeds the photograph into the robot’s computer to create a digital 3-D image. The doctor, in order to have the robot mimic what he would do by hand, can then manipulate various parameters, such as hair angle, direction and density.
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