FUE Hair Transplant or Follicular Unit extraction can be accomplished by a simple punch method using a core drill that removes approximately 1 mm of tissue around each hair follicle. This allows the hair transplant doctor to remove the hair required for implantation in balding areas without the need for a liner scar that may be detectable depending upon how a patient wears there hair, for example a short buz hair cut. The limitation of FUE has been that the process is tedious and the number of hair grafts that a hair transplant doctor and his team could remove in a day was usually in the 500 to 750 hair graft range. Many patients require a minimum of 2000 grafts to restore their receding hairline and balding crown, and the FUE method would often require multiple sessions which would drive up the cost and the inconvenience to patients. As a result more automated systems were created that allowed the FUE process to be more efficient so that 2000 to 3000 hair graft sessions could be accomplished. This is where NeoGraft and Artas FUE devices are beneficial.
NeoGraft is an automated FUE device that an experienced hair transplant surgeon uses, and the Artas system uses a robot to remove the hair follicles. The Artas system claims that they are able to get more consistent FUE grafts that are of better quality by removing human error. I believe that this may be true if the FUE procedure is being performed by an inexperienced technician, then clearly a robotic device would be preferable. What a robot simply cannot outperform a human is in experience, judgment, and artistry. The truth is that the hair follicles grow out of the scalp in many different directions, and when an experienced team extracts the hair follicles they are able to remove them more predictably with fewer transections of the hair follicle bulbs from which the hair grows. We have seen that our graft quality rate with NeoGraft is approximately 97%. I believe it is impossible for the robot to judge the many different directions hair grows out of the scalp so transection rates may be higher, but there is no published data on the quality or head to head comparisons. I do believe that Artas can give patient good results, but I do not think that a Robot can outperform the decades of experience that a dedicated team of hair transplant professionals brings to every FUE hair transplant.