Manual Hair Transplants or Automated Follicular Transplantation: What’s better?

Automated Systems

Hair Transplant Treatment

Man vs. machine. That is one of the greatest questions of this century. As the quality of work produced through engineering innovations and artificial intelligence continues to outpace traditional human skills, comparing the two approaches is inevitable. This theme of being replaced by robots is now becoming more commonplace in the field of medicine as well.

Is it possible for machines to match human performance in a hair transplant procedure? What are the benefits and drawbacks of introducing automation in hair transplantation? Does an automated hair transplant technology already exist? You would be surprised to hear that there are robots known as SAFER® and ARTAS® that have been used to perform hair transplantation. Some clinics also use an automated punch machine for low-cost transplants.

Manual Hair Transplants or Automated Follicular Transplantation - What’s better - Hair Transplant Treatment Toronto

Automated Transplant Systems

An Alternate Solution

SAFER® uses an automated punch rotary head with an attached vacuum to collect the tissues for transplantation. It then blows the grafts into incisions made in the recipient area.

On the other hand, ARTAS® is a robot that analyzes digital imaging to identify natural groupings of hair on the patient’s scalp. It is believed that this technology could one day provide information with unparalleled accuracy regarding the direction, angle, depth, and density of the hair.

Benefits of Automated Systems

  1. Reduce the duration and cost of the procedure.
  2. Less staff required, so multiple sessions may be scheduled, as robots do not get tired.
  3. Easier to accommodate more patients.
  4. Fewer risks of human-based medical errors.
  5. Precision and accuracy of the technology are remarkable.
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Manual Hair Transplants or Automated Follicular Transplantation - What’s better - Hair Transplant Treatment Toronto


Hair Loss Treatment

  1. Automated transplants are more focused on the extraction phase. However, the transplantation is a very important element of the procedure, as it affects the eventual appearance and natural look of hair growth.
  2. SAFER’s robot: The large diameter of the automated extraction punch causes scarring on the donor site. The air suction used to extract the tissue can damage the follicles, thus reducing the survival rate of the transplant. The wide incisions on the recipient tissue are still produced with a scalpel, so it may not be ideal for monitoring the angle and direction of the hair growth.
  3. ARTAS® robot: the software can scan only outside the scalp, so it cannot anticipate the direction of follicles beneath the skin. The extraction punches are larger than the punches used in manual extraction, so scars can form. It is also difficult for the robots to navigate on the sides and periphery of the scalp.

Despite the benefits associated with the above technologies, they have not yet been able to replicate the successful results seen in manually performed procedures by skilled plastic surgeons.

Best Option At The Moment

At this point in time, it is not possible for automated machines to perform hair transplantation with the attention to detail and artistry that matches manually performed procedures. They do not possess the talent to analyse unique aesthetic characteristics such as facial features and spacing as they relate to hairline shape and pattern. Machines do not have the ability to understand emotions and adapt themselves to new situations.

A hair transplant performed by certified hair restoration specialists continues to be the best possible solution to restore your hair because it allows the surgeon to control the depth, direction, and style of hair placement for natural results. If you would like to consider a hair restoration procedure, please contact the Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic for more details.

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