Neograft and ARTAS FUE
FUE has made leaps and bounds over the past 10 years. Given that there is much talk on the internet concerning two devices used in FUE, the Neograft machine and the ARTAS “Robot”, we can discuss both of these products and provide you with our opinions.
Neograft is a company that created a machine that actually extracts the graft as it is being scored from the donor. The grafts travel along tubing and finally is caught in a trap. This is performed using a suction tube. Air is what carries the grafts to the trap. Grafts are inherently highly susceptible to desiccation or “drying” out. A dry, or even a slightly dry, graft will often not function well. The technician or physician is responsible for dipping the punch in saline to keep the grafts wet however this step may be over looked. Technicians are not necessarily dedicated to one clinic and the quality assurance of each technician can be unmonitored. In other words you may not know who you are having to perform this very important life changing procedure. In our opinion, this isn’t the best solution for an FUE procedure at this time. There is too much opportunity for damage to the grafts. Damaged grafts often do not grow.
ARTAS is the first device using robotic technology to perform an FUE. It uses cameras to select each graft. The robot has been around for several years and has been marketed to physicians or clinics that want to add hair restoration to their practice. This means less experienced physicians and technicians that have not been dedicated to hair restoration are able to use this technology. Hands down, there are a few specific issues that need to be addressed and is our opinion as well as MANY other highly respected hair restoration physicians. It has limitations on who is a good candidate. The machine works best on hair that is straight, dark and course. People who have wavy, curly, or thin hair may be more difficult for the robot. Another issue is the size of the punch that is used for the scoring of the skin around the follicle. The size of the punch can be well over 1.0mm. The claim is that it is a 0.9mm but this measurement is the inside diameter of the punch. If you include the outside diameter it could be upwards of 1.3mm to 1.5mm. And lastly the transection rate of the grafts that are actually extracted is often higher than a person with years of experience by hand can achieve. Grafts are too valuable a commodity to be wasted. In our opinion, this isn’t the best solution for an FUE procedure at this time. Not to mention, the extra added expense for use of the robot with no added aesthetic benefit.
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