How robotic hair transplants are a game changer
While action heroes such as Jason Statham and Bruce Willis have become icons of the less-hirsute among us, a cool breeze brushing over a thinning crown can be a grim reminder for many men that may not have a head well-shaped for a buzzcut that they’re going to have to invest in more hats. Generally viewed as a natural part of the aging process, the gradual decline in a once full covering of head hair can be genuinely stomach-churning and come with a wide range of feelings of anxiety and dread. This can be particularly daunting when the hair-loss is premature, with men as young as 18 having to go through an aging process that can impact their own confidence and feelings of attractiveness. Roughly two-thirds of men will experience some degree of hair thinning hair by their 30s, and 50% will see a significant amount of hair loss by their 50s. Although drug-based treatments for thinning hair come with their own benefits and disadvantages, hair transplants have come a long-way and may offer a more permanent solution to hair loss.
What is a FUE hair transplant?
On the other hand, FUE stands for Follicular Unit Extraction and involves extracting individual donor hair follicles from an area of the head where they are thick and grow well and transplanting them in the affected area of the head suffering the hair loss. This donor area is likely to be the back or the sides of the head. The goal of an FUE transplant is for you to regrow your own hair in the most natural possible way by minimising the appearance of transplanted hairs through the use of these tiny transplants, avoiding the tufted or plug look that is commonly associated with older techniques.
What is the difference between FUT and FUE hair transplants?
FUT, or Follicular Unit Transplantation, involves surgically removing a strip of skin from the patient’s scalp to remove units of follicles for transplanting. Patients are often prescribed antibiotics to avoid infection after the procedure, and the process can cause a degree of scarring dependent on the individual. On the other hand, a FUE hair transplant removes the hair follicles directly from the scalp, either manually from a healthcare professional or from robotic assistance. This process can be more time consuming than the FUT technique, but it is less invasive than surgically removing a strip of donor skin from the patient and involves less scarring or even recovery time. While both procedures are likely to have positive results, the newer FUE procedure is advantageous in that it is significantly less invasive and can cause fewer complications.
What are the advantages of a robotic hair transplant?
Robotic technology such as the ARTAS Hair Transplant Machine utilised by The Derm Lab aims to bring a whole new level of accuracy to the already advantageous FUE hair transplant procedure. By using a sophisticated computerised method of mapping the patient’s head hair, the surgeon-aided system extracts thousands of hair follicles for transplantation in a single session (up to 1200 an hour). Through this, the robotic system minimises the greatest drawback of the FUE system, namely the time intensive nature of the process. In addition, the system ensures that the best, healthiest follicles are chosen for transplant, greatly improving the survival rate of transplanted hairs.
What is the timeframe for seeing new hair?
The new follicles will take some time to reach maturity, and while you may want to see results immediately, it can take up to 12-months to see the full range of benefits from a head full of natural looking hair. There is even a chance that you will experience a degree of additional thinning during this period, but as we all know good things take time. You will often start to see some hair growth after the five-month period, but you will continue to experience results as the hair matures and changes in thickness and texture.
The overall benefits of FUE and robotic hair transplants
To summarise the benefits of the FUE technique and the benefits of a robotic hair transplant:
- More natural looking hair that doesn’t have the tufted or plug look associated with older and less effective techniques by removing follicles one and a time
- Recovery is within days rather than weeks. There is no scarring as strips of donor skin are not removed from the backs or sides of the head, allowing patients to maintain more closely cropped hair styles.
- Hairlines will look natural and thinning hair can be improved from both the hairline and the crown.
- Efficiency and accuracy through the use of advanced robotic systems such as ARTAS mean that former limitations such as FUE being incredibly time intensive are now significantly less so.
- The ARTAS system algorithmically finds the best, healthiest hair for transplant, significantly increasing the success rate of donor hair surviving and the patient experiencing positive results from their hair transplant.