Video: Why Does a Hair Transplant Robot Need a Tensioner
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April 28th, 2014

Dr. Bernstein describes how the ARTAS Robotic System uses a small, window-like device, called a tensioner, and its image-guided 3D optical technology to locate and extract follicular units from the scalp. He also discusses the two-step dissection technique, how it works, and why this is an important aspect of the FUE hair transplant procedure. Here is a more detailed summary of the video:
Dr. Bernstein: In doing a robotic hair transplant, we use an instrument called a tensioner, a small window like device, to stretch the skin; I place it on the scalp and then allow it to expand — the expansion puts traction on the skin to hold it firmly in place. This tensioner also has little tiny dots around the edges that are coded for the robot to visualize. The robot scans the edges of the tensioner and incorporates it into the software. The robot then uses a 3-D optical system to visualize the follicular units; it then aligns the cutting part of the robot with the angle of the hair follicles, and it makes a small incision around the hair follicle. The robot follows a two-step dissection technique — and this is actually very important — the first part of the dissection is done by a very tiny sharp round cutting instrument, but it only goes into the skin about one millimeter; basically, it just scores skin. Then, a little bit wider instrument goes down around it, and that does the rest of the dissection. The purpose of this second instrument is that it is a little bit more blunt than the first, and since it travels down the length of the follicle, the blunt part allows it to separate the follicle from the surrounding tissue area without causing much injury to the follicles. And that’s really been a major breakthrough with this blunt dissection phase, the separation of the follicular unit from the surrounding tissue.
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