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Video: Robotic hair transplants are the newest in pain-free cosmetic surgery

ARTAS Robotic System
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Advancements in modern technology have made life a lot more convenient for society. Now patients who want to grow hair in places where it's sparse have a high-tech pain-free option. 

One of those technologies is ARTAS robotic hair transplants. Dr. James DeYarman in La Jolla specializes in this system and to some, it could be considered a miracle in the world of follicular beauty.

Our own publisher Johnathan Hale is not shy about talking about his experience (you can see his testimonial video below). We asked him how simple the robotic process was. 

"Easy. I literally came in on my scheduled appointment day and was out by dinner," he said. "I run two major San Diego publications so taking time off can be a bit of an issue. But Dr. DeYarman's office was so great at accommodating me that I was able to relax,  and I was amazed, and still am, at the results." 

Dr. DeYarman has dedicated his life to new techniques in hair restoration. For over four decades he has brought his experience to the field and many medical professionals rely on his wisdom to help their patients and understand its science.

His lectures and writings have influenced the cosmetic surgery industry and he is considered a leader in his field.

So it is no surprise that he immediately looked into this new robotic hair transplant technology when it was first introduced.

When the late-night TV viewer thought about hair transplants 30 years ago, the first thing that may come to mind is Bosley Hair Club for men. The famous catchphrase there was “I'm not only the owner I'm also a client.”

A brief history of hair restoration 

Dr. DeYarman explains that since the popularity of that technique many things have changed. He takes us through a brief history of the process from then to today. 

“There’s a lot of things that have changed. Hair transplants started out as plugs, or grafts,” Dr.  DeYarman said. “They were usually about four millimeters in diameter. And early on we saw that the smaller the graft the better the result. So we just started doing smaller and smaller bunches. Then it came to strip harvesting. Instead of doing harvesting we would cut out a strip of tissue and then dissect it out under a microscope to get our grafts of one and two hairs. Then the next major breakthrough is what they call Follicular Unit Transplanting where it was revealed that hairs actually grow in bundles they call follicular units it’s usually two to three hairs. So that kinda changed a lot you know.”

With this new technique, men and women began seeing that their transplants were taking on a more natural look because they were now transplanting hair as it was in its natural state. No longer were visible plugs necessary the doctor says, they started using slits.

More recently it became Follicular Unit Extraction where there is no longer a need to cut out a strip, but do small punches less than a millimeter in size.

"The advantage of that over the strip," explains Dr. DeYarman, "is there is no scar line in the back."

And this is where the robotic process comes in.

Robotic Transplants

"Well, now we are going to do the follicular extraction, called FUE. The robot was developed to do this because the grafts were so small that's it's very hard for the operator taking a drill in to not damage anything. So they developed this robotics system that does the extraction."

The software was developed by understanding which angle the hair grows beneath the surface. They use an arm with a multi-stage bit which can create grafts as small as .8 millimeters in size, "that's pretty small" says the doctor. 

And now instead of only getting one or two hairs, the robot can sometimes retrieve three to four, "It's really become so technical and refined so much. Today that seems to be the best method for doing hair restoration," adds Dr. DeYarman.

Downtime and pain

Worrying about the pain and the downtime is one of the biggest concerns patients think about when deciding to schedule the surgery.

"It was a little scary thinking about the process, but once it started," said Johnathan Hale. "I was completely relaxed. And this new technology is so advanced that I barely felt a thing. Even afterward, I barely knew I had anything done."

Dr. DeYarman adds: "The robotic surgery is pretty amazing. The most difficult thing is that you have to shave the back of their head down to a one-millimeter length in hair. So when we’re done with the procedure that back of the head where we’ve done the procedure is this area of where the extraction points are, it’s red and inflamed, but they don’t have any pain. At all."

 Once he's done with the transplant, he tells his patients to only apply his prescribed ointment for five days, then on the sixth day they wash it all out, "most times you be able to tell they had anything done," he says.

I want to look like Brad Pitt

The number one reason men want to do a transplant procedure Doctor DeYarman says is that they want to look younger. "That's the main reason," he says. "Guys will come in and they'll bring pictures of Brad Pitt, stuff like that and say I want to look like that."

He explains to them that only Brad Pitt can look like Brad Pitt and then shows them how to restore their hair with photos on the computer and profiles. 

"When you ask guys to draw a picture of their hairline, they'll make it look like a woman's hairline," he says, "They don't understand, so you have to show them all these things and once you start giving their hair back, they want more always."

Stem cells are the future

"One of the other things that we do here that I’m pretty excited about is the stem-cell transplant," he said. "It evolved from getting stem-cells from the fat tissue."

After liposuction, you use about 40cc’s of that fat and then do Platelet Rich Plasma which is used to improve healing situations. The stem cells and PRP mixture is then injected into the scalp.

San Diego Gay and Lesbian News’ own Johnathan Hale had that procedure done and doctor DeYarman says it was remarkable at how fast he healed and how much quicker the hair grew in.

How long does the robotic hair transplant last? 

Unlike some cosmetic procedures, robotic hair transplants will last forever says Dr. DeYarman, but there is a catch.

"Well, here's the kicker; the hair that you transplant will last, it's the other hair around the area that you continue to lose that's the rest of your life, you can never stop it."

He makes people feel good again.

With forty years in the field of cosmetic surgery especially hair transplants, Dr. DeYarman is one of the foremost specialists in his field.

He is working with other doctors to help them advance in their knowledge of hair growth. And with this new robotic and pain-free technique he is also giving his patients more than just hair he is giving them more confidence and self-esteem.

"The results are absolutely incredible," explains Johnathan. "It's sort of amazing. I am in the public eye a lot and hardly anyone noticed that I had the procedure done. Sometimes I look in the mirror and can't believe it myself. This new growth was a result of a virtually pain-free process. I am really glad that I did this and I recommend it to anyone thinking about doing the same."

DeYarman Medical Group is located at 3252 Holiday Court #204 La Jolla, CA 92037 (800) FOR-HAIR

You can call and make an appointment for a consultation.