Meet the Hair Restoration Robot: ARTAS Earns FDA Nod

by Martina Gonzalez

There's a new expert in the field of hair restoration. ARTAS™ is a high-tech system that uses a computer, imaging technology, and an electronic arm to fight hair loss. Essentially, ARTAS is a robot that can identify and treat hair loss in a way that the human eye cannot. It may sound like propaganda, but ARTAS has been proven effective and just gained FDA approval.

ARTAS Follicular Unit Extraction

ARTAS utilizes follicular unit extraction (FUE) to treat hair loss. FUE is a popular technique that was introduced in Rassman and Bernstein's 2002 publication “Follicular Unit Extraction: Minimally Invasive Surgery For Hair Transplantation.” That's when FUE was first described as a method that takes hair follicles directly from the scalp. After the FUE has been completed, those hair follicles can then be transplanted onto the balding parts. Typical male pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, only affects the front and top part of the scalp. That's why many of the balding men you see have a ring of hair around the sides of their head. Thus, the FUE method can extract hair follicles from this area with virtually no problems. Hair follicles in this area will be plentiful and active, so removing a few won't alter the overall look of the hair. There may be some spots that look thinner immediately after FUE, but they should grow back at the same pace your hair normally does.

Since hair follicles are so tiny, removing them is a mentally and physically strenuous job. Plastic surgeons use high-powered magnification tools, but FUE still requires a good deal of concentration. ARTAS eliminates the risk of human error. It uses imaging technology to identify the hair follicles and then punch them out easily and quickly. ARTAS is much faster than manual FUE-- it removes between 750 and 1,000 hair follicles per hour.

The ARTAS Experience

The name ARTAS encompasses an entire system that's designed to treat hair loss as comfortably and efficiently as possible. The patient sits in a comfortable chair, and then the robotic arm is positioned over the scalp. There's no eerie operating room tables or general anesthesia with ARTAS.

ARTAS FDA Approval

ARTAS was approved by the FDA in April 2011, making it one of the very few electronic hair restoration devices that's considered both safe and effective.

“We are thrilled to receive FDA clearance, and look forward to rolling out the ARTAS System to leading hair restoration physicians,” said Jim McCollum, the Chief Executive Officer of Restoration Robotics. “Hair loss is a very real issue for millions of men in the United States. We’re pleased to offer a powerful new technology for patients who are interested in a safe new way to enhance their quality of life.”

Notably, ARTAS is only FDA-approved for men with male pattern hair loss. So if you're a woman who suffers from hair loss, you're not a candidate. And if you're a man that deals with a less common type of hair loss that's not androgenetic alopecia, ARTAS may not be the best option. ARTAS is also only FDA-approved for men with black or brown hair that's straight. Hair that's too light may be difficult for ARTAS to identify and thus the treatment may not be very effective.

“Many patients are seeking less invasive alternatives to the current hair restoration techniques,” said Dr. Miguel Canales, the medical director at Restoration Robotics. “There is growing interest in FUE because of its many patient benefits, such as less discomfort and a quicker return to normal activities. The ARTAS™ System solves many of the technical challenges experienced by physicians currently attempting the FUE procedure which gives physicians and patients an exciting new choice.”

Scheduling Your ARTAS Consultation

ARTAS offers the latest in hair restoration technology. If you're seeking a permanent solution to hair loss, thinning, or balding, ARTAS may be your answer. The best way to find out if ARTAS is right for you is to schedule a private consultation with a hair loss specialist in your area. Contact us today!

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