Dr. Bernstein demonstrates how he places the tensioner on the patient in a robotic hair transplant procedure. The tensioner is a plastic picture frame-like device that adds tension to the patient’s scalp allowing for improved harvesting. It also has little dots, called fiducials, on its outer border which the robot “reads” for proper orientation. The robot scans the edges of the tensioner, reads the dots, and uses them to orient the robotic arm and punch tool.
Dr. Bernstein demonstrates how he harvests follicular units below the occipital protuberance in the donor area on the back of the scalp using Robotic FUE techniques and describes how he positions the patient enabling the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System to harvest from the lower portion of the donor area.
The follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure consists of four steps: the separation of follicular units from the surrounding tissue, the removal of follicular units from the scalp, the creation of recipient sites, and the placement of follicular units into these sites. The first step is performed by the ARTAS robotic hair transplant system – the part of the FUE procedure requiring the greatest precision and that is most subject to human error.
Q: How is robotic FUE different at Bernstein Medical compared to other practices?
A: The ARTAS robot assists in the first part of the follicular unit extraction procedure: separating the follicular unit from the surrounding tissue. The rest of the hair restoration procedure is done manually. Once follicular units are removed from the scalp they need to be trimmed prior to implantation, recipient sites need to be created, and the grafts must be placed in them – a time consuming, delicate process.
Because we are highly skilled in microscopic dissection, we are able to produce the highest quality grafts. In addition, all the other aspect of the procedure, including the long-term planning and design will be performed with the same high standards. With respect to the actual robot at Bernstein Medical, we use smaller instruments that result in less wounding to the scalp, it promotes faster healing time, and it improves the appearance of the donor area. We also have our computer programed to select the larger follicular units to obtain more hair with less wounds (holes) in the donor area – ultimately achieving a better cosmetic result.
Dr. Bernstein discusses how FUE instrumentation has evolved from the hand held follicular unit extraction punch to automated robotic follicular extraction.
The ARTAS Robotic System uses a small, window-like device called a tensioner to help hold the scalp in place and to help guide the 3D optical technology that locates and extracts follicular units.
In Part 3 of our video series on Robotic FUE hair transplants, Dr. Bernstein narrates as he and his team first prepare the patient for graft harvesting and then conduct the follicular unit extraction process using the ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System.
In this interview, Dr. Bernstein discusses robotic graft selection with Spencer Kobren, the host of ‘The Bald Truth’ radio program. Fewer wounds in the donor area means a better aesthetic appearance after surgery. But there is another benefit that is seldom discussed: Quality Control.
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