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Onalytica, a company that provides Influencer Relationship Management software and services, has named Dr. Bernstein one of the top influencers (#39 out of 100) on the topic of robotics due to his pioneering work in robotic hair transplant surgery with the ARTAS Robotic System.
Q: I have read that the ARTAS System works best on straight black hair. Is this an option for gray hair? How about wavy or curly hair? – P.W., Fort Lee, NJ
A: The ARTAS robotic system can be used in patients with any hair color although in order for the robot to visualize white hair (or very light blond hair) the hair must be dyed. Curly hair is also not a problem as the donor hair in a robotic procedure is shaved to approximately 1 mm in length so a wave or curl is eliminated. In patients of African descent, where the hair below the surface of the skin may be curved, a slightly larger punch can be used. we have patients dye their hair the evening before or the day of the procedure. For convenience, only the hair in the donor area (back and sides) where the robot will be doing the harvesting needs to be dyed.
In patients who prefer not to shave or dye the entire back and sides of the scalp, we can perform the ARTAS robotic FUE using the long-hair technique. With this technique, you will grow your hair on the back and sides of the scalp a bit longer so it can cover the harvested area. On the day of the procedure, we will lift up the hair, clip a long thin band of donor hair and then extract follicular units from this limited region of the scalp. After the procedure, you can simply comb down your hair to cover the donor zone. The area that has been harvested (and possibly dyed depending on your hair color) will not be visible.
Dr. Robert M. Bernstein Presents “Graft Selection” Advance in ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System at ISHRS World Congress
Dr. Bernstein presented results of his study, “Robotic Follicular Unit Graft Selection,” at the 2016 ISHRS World Congress held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Graft selection is a key advance in the ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System, a hardware and software suite that automates aspects of the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant procedure. The enhancement makes Robotic FUE more efficient and improves patient outcomes.
Dr. Andrew Ordon of “The Doctors” and Dr. Bernstein Discuss the Latest Advances in Robotic Hair Transplants
Dr. Andrew Ordon — Emmy-nominated co-host of the award-winning talk show “The Doctors” — and Dr. Robert Bernstein met at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in New York City on March 3, 2016 to discuss the latest advances in robotic hair transplantation.
Dr. Bernstein appeared as a guest on The Bald Truth, where he was interviewed by Spencer Kobren, the show’s host, about the ARTAS® Robotic System for FUE hair transplant surgery and the latest updates to the robotic system. He also discussed increasing demand for both FUE procedures and hair transplants, in general, around the world.
Dr. Bernstein was quoted in a New York Post article on the growing popularity of surgical hair restoration. In the article, Dr. Bernstein explained how celebrity hair transplants have become a driving factor behind the fading of the decades-long stigma of hair transplants.
On being chosen for his sixteenth consecutive ‘Best Doctors’ issue, Dr. Bernstein said: “I am honored to be considered among the best doctors in New York and it is a credit to the hardworking staff at Bernstein Medical that, after two decades of incredible progress, we are still making significant advances in the surgical treatment of hair loss.”
Recognition of Dr. Bernstein and his contributions to the field of surgical hair restoration comes as he continues to push the envelope with advances in Robotic FUE hair transplants, improving more traditional hair restoration techniques and exploring adjuvant treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).
Q: What is the main difference between hair transplants using the robot versus other procedures?
A: There are two basic types of hair transplant procedures, Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT or strip surgery) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). In FUT, donor hair is harvested by removing a long thin strip from the back of the scalp. Individual follicular units are then obtained from this strip using stereo-microscopic dissection. In FUE, individual follicular units are harvested directly from the donor area using a sharp, round cutting instrument. The ARTAS Robotic System performs the follicular unit isolation step of an FUE procedure and can also create recipient sites according to specifications determined by the hair restoration surgeon. In performing each of these steps, the robot uses its image-guided technology to locate the next target and position the cutting instrument, and it does so with precision and speed that cannot be accomplished using manual FUE techniques or instruments.
Q: I have been reading about Robotic FUE and have seen some photos on your website of you operating the ARTAS robot using what looks like a remote control. What is that thing and how does it control the robot?
A: The ARTAS robot uses a dual operating system when performing follicular unit extraction. One station consists of a desktop computer adjacent to the robot. This station is used to establish the basic parameters of the transplant such as the spacing of grafts, the angle and depth of the harvest, which size follicular units will be targeted, and a host of other important variables.
The hand-held pendant is used by the operator situated next to the patient. The remote has more limited options – the main ones being depth adjustment and to immediately suspend the action of the robot. Many of the parameters are determined automatically by the robot’s computer to maximize the accuracy of the harvesting. The robot also makes real-time adjustments to these variables during the hair restoration procedure.
The physician sets the parameters at the computer monitor and, once the settings are determined, he/she sets the tensioner grid on the patient’s scalp. The tensioner determines where the grafts will be harvested. The grid is moved approximately every 130 harvests. The robot can be operated at the computer terminal and through a mobile pendant. The physician often alternates with a trained assistant between that station and using the pendant.
Besides the involvement in the operation of the robot, there are many other important physician-dependent steps to the hair transplant including the planning and design of the procedure, and recipient site creation. Other steps, such as the microscopic sorting and trimming of harvested follicular unit grafts and graft placement, are often performed by trained staff, but require the physician’s close supervision.
Dr. Robert M. Bernstein introduced a new capability of the ARTAS® robotic system, “Follicular Unit Graft Selection,” at the ARTAS User Group Meeting on February 6-7, 2015 in Newport Coast, CA. He presented the new technology and the preliminary results of a bilateral pilot study of the technique conducted at Bernstein Medical.