Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration - Placing Grafts into Recipient Sites
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Q: While I was lying awake last night your approach of making sites the day before implantation came to mind. It takes guts to have spearheaded that! I am not aware that that precedent has been set in hair transplant surgery. I would have been timid about infection; it’s a lot like closing a wound with a foreign body in it the next day. As with most things, I am a little slow to jump on board something new so I’m glad you’ve paved the way. Do you have any hesitance about this or do you have enough experience that you no longer hesitate? I would be concerned that variations of the local flora might make a difference and that, accordingly, a large sample size would be necessary to get comfortable. Glad for all of us that you are still blazing trails. — S.S., Shanghai, China

A: Thanks for your kind words. No hesitancy whatsoever. We find no increased risk. Think of it as if you did a hair transplant and ran out of grafts. The remaining sites don’t get infected, they just close up. In the process, all those chemotactic factors involved in the healing process move toward the wounds, so if a graft is placed into them, they would be less likely to get infected than a graft placed into a fresh (non-primed) wound, not more. It is like applying the surgical dressing Duoderm to a wound that helps it auto-sterilize. Putting the speculative science aside, we have not seen one single issue with it. Give it a try with an FUE or FUT procedure. Make the sites, have the patient takes his normal shower that night and you will be pleasantly surprised how little bleeding there is the next day and how easy it is to place the grafts.

Read a summary of the article on pre-making recipient sites

Read the full article as it was published in the Hair Transplant Forum International

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Robotic FUE has improved Follicular Unit Extraction by automating what has been a labor intensive and often inexact manual procedure. It is the latest in a long line of improvements made to hair restoration procedures that lead to better results for hair transplant patients. Dr. Bernstein’s recent publication in Hair Transplant Forum International improves the FUE procedure even further, whether performing follicular unit extraction with the FUE robot or by hand.

In his article, Dr. Bernstein suggests two techniques to enhance the FUE procedure. First, he recommends that surgeons create recipient sites prior to extraction, in order to decrease the time grafts are in their holding solution outside the body. Second, he suggests adding time between site creation and graft harvesting and placement, to allow recipient site healing to progress.

Pre-Making Recipient Sites

As is discussed in the full article (which is available for viewing and download in our Medical Publications section), by making recipient sites first, the time grafts are out of the body will be reduced.FUE procedures lend themselves to easily reversing the normal hair transplant sequence of graft (strip) harvesting followed by dissection and site creation.

These “pre-made” recipient sites will also exhibit less bleeding than newly created sites and will exhibit the stickiness that makes older sites easier to place grafts into with less popping (a common source of graft injury). Besides allowing the placing step to proceed more quickly, pre-making sites will reduce the risk of mechanical injury inherent in repositioning elevated grafts.

After Site Creation, Add Delay between Graft Harvesting and Placement

While Dr. Bernstein acknowledges the expediency for the hair restoration physician, as well as the comfort of the patient in a single-day session, he suggests that, to facilitate growth after a transplant, multiple-day procedures should be considered in large hair transplant sessions that involve the placement of thousands of grafts.

In conclusion, these two modifications -— pre-making recipient sites and adding a delay before graft placement -— to the FUE procedure can potentially contribute to better growth due to easier, less traumatic graft insertion, a shortened time “out of body,” and the creation of a more fertile bed for the implanted grafts.

View the full article to read details about these and other potential advantages of pre-making recipient sites

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ARTAS at Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration
Dr. Bernstein and Staff with ARTAS System

We are pleased to announce that robotic FUE is now available at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. This is a major advance in FUE technology.

The ARTAS system for hair restoration allows us to more effectively isolate follicular unit grafts from the donor area of the scalp without causing damage to individual follicles, a problem that has been a limitation of manual FUE techniques. Many other important parts of the FUE procedure will still be performed by the physician and team, including actual removal of the follicular units from the scalp, recipient site creation, and graft placement. The aesthetic elements that give a hair transplant a natural-looking result will still be in the hands of the physician. Read more about the benefits of robotic hair transplantation.

We are proud of the cutting-edge work we do in our state-of-the-art medical facility and are excited as we take FUE hair transplantation to the next level.

View our press release about the ARTAS system at Bernstein Medical.

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Q: Does the robotic hair transplant system do the whole operation or does the doctor do any of it? — B.W., Brooklyn, NY

A: The ARTAS robot only performs a small part of the FUE procedure, although it is an important one. FUE comprises four basic steps:

  1. Isolation of follicular units from the surrounding skin
  2. Removal of follicular units from the scalp
  3. Making recipient sites
  4. Placing grafts into these sites

The robot only performs the first step, follicular unit isolation.

Even in this first step, however, physician control is extremely important, as the doctor must determine the precise depth to which both the sharp and blunt dissection are set. They must also make constant adjustments to the angle that aligns the instrument with the graft.

The ARTAS robotic system gets all of its cues from the surface of the skin, so that it can place the target follicular unit in the exact center of the cutting field of the robotic tip. It can also align the tip parallel with the emergent hairs. However, the angle of the hair as it emerges from the scalp is slightly different than the angle below the skin and the doctor needs to tell the robot what this angle is. Fortunately, the robotic imaging system provides the doctor with the information he needs to make this determination.

Read about Robotic Hair Transplantation.

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