FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A high-tech solution for a very common problem -- by age 35, two-thirds of American men will have some degree of hair loss. By the age of 50, 85 percent are a lot thinner on top. A doctor becomes the patient as he tests out a new robotic hair restoration procedure.
"Well my biggest concern is my hairline," Robert Leonard, D.O., told ABC30.
Normally, Dr. Robert Leonard is the one performing hair transplant surgery but this time he is the patient, trying out a new FDA-approved robotic device to restore his hairline.
Under the control of a hair transplant surgeon, the ARTAS system uses a robotic arm and digital imaging. Every 20 milliseconds it recalculates hair position to achieve the best results from a patient's donor area.
"The robot will line up to each hair follicle each hair shaft either one grouping up to almost four groupings and will punch each one out by a one millimeter punch," Matthew Lopresti, D.O., told ABC30.
Unlike traditional hair transplant surgery the ARTAS robot leaves no linear scar allowing patients to wear their hair shorter at the donor site.
"I just had this technique just done a very short time ago, and my whole hair line was transplanted," said Leonard.
Dr. Lopresti says the ARTAS is more precise, than the traditional surgery -- cutting down on time by approximately 25 percent. Under local anesthesia it takes about five to seven hours to perform.
"Most patients do not complain of any discomfort whatsoever especially at night time lying on a pillow versus the traditional method where you do have a line with skin that was taken out with sutures in the back," said Dr. Lopresti.
In about 18 months Dr. Leonard can expect to see full hair growth.
The procedure costs on average about $10,000 to $15,000. As hair transplants are almost always considered elective procedures, health plans do not normally pay for hair transplantation surgery.
For more information on this report, please contact:
Leonard Hair Transplant Associates
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