TECH REPORT: Robotic system aids hair restoration

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By Rich DeMuro, The Tech Report

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- For a lot of men, hair loss is a fact of life.  But now doctors can restore hair more efficiently than ever before.

They're finding a little help from a special robot.

Hair transplants used to mean long visits and big scars.  Now technology is making it easier and less invasive.

Baldness is a sore topic for men around the world.

"I just turned 40 last year and I realized that my hair had gotten a lot thinner. And
it was something that was upsetting me," said John Quinn.

That's when Quinn decided it was time to take action.

"What I was concerned about, was, what was the affects after it was done. How would my scalp, how would my head look?,"  Quinn said.

As he investigated solutions, he came across a procedure that used a robot to lend a helping hand, making the new hair look more natural.

"When people think of hair transplants, they still go back to the old plugs," explained Dr. Craig Ziering, a transplant surgeon.

Dr. Ziering is an expert with more than 20 years experience in hair restoration and an early adopter of the ARTAS robotic system.

"The system enables us to remove grafts one follicular unit at a time. But with tremendous precision," he said.

ARTAS uses digital imaging software to map out an area behind the head where hair still grows.

The robotic arm takes follicles from there and then implants them in the trouble spots.

"The doctors will still make the incisions for where the grafts are going to grow. And the
staff will put the hairs into those sites," Ziering explained.

Hair is plucked at random so it doesn't leave any odd looking patches.

The precision of the robot means less scarring and shorter recovery

Quinn had the procedure done about a year ago.  Healing took only three days. And he's happy with the results.

The procedure takes between four to eight hours per session depending on the patient.

But you will pay the price for getting your hair back.  The treatment can cost between $7,000 and $15,000.

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