NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– By the age of 50, about 80 percent of men experience some hair loss. Traditional hair transplants involve painful surgery, but that can now be avoided by turning to a robot for high-tech hair.
Chris Lagrotteria spoke to CBS2 as he was about to undergo cutting edge treatment to restore his thinning hair and with it, some self-esteem, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.
“You don’t feel as young. You don’t feel — I don’t want to say the word macho, but macho comes to mind,” Largoterria said.
He’ll be getting a high-tech procedure referred to as “The Artas Robot.” It’s an automated system that extracts the follicles from the back of the head to be transplanted to the balding area. He’s up for the new approach.
Dr. Herbert Feinberg said follicles are typically taken from a donor strip of scalp that cut out and then sutured closed leaving a tell-tale scar. Using Artas is less painful and has a shorter recovery time while removing the hair more precisely.
“This robot is very intuitive. It makes decisions on its own,” he said.
For instance, the robot measures the follicles to identify which hairs will be best to transplant. It can determine the strength of the hair and can tell the angle the hair is growing to avoid damage during follicle harvesting.
“I hope I look like Elvis, but I doubt that is going to happen but I can’t wait,” Largotteria said.
Richard Cocca had his robotic transplant two years ago.
“All of a sudden, one day you look in the mirror and go: ‘Wow, look at this! That’s a pretty cool thing,” he said.
The back of Lagrotteria’s head is shaved. Instead of the long scar he has from a previous transplant, the robot maps and extracts the follicles in a random pattern of tiny punches, a better cosmetic result. After that, the surgeon implants the follicles in a natural pattern by hand.
His hair should start growing in about six months, but it’ll be a year before the results.
“Absolutely painless, yup — didn’t feel anything and looking forward to seeing the results,” Lagrotteria said.
The robotic procedure costs considerably more than other transplants and the procedure takes longer. While donor scars are more easily covered in women, the robot can also be used on females.