Dr. Robert M. Bernstein Presents 'Graft Selection' Advance in ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System at ISHRS World Congress

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Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University and founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, presented the results of his study on robotic hair transplantation at the annual ISHRS World Congress held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, September 30, 2016. Dr. Bernstein presented an advance in the technology of the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System, called automated or robotic graft selection, which minimizes scarring and improves outcomes of robotic hair transplant procedures.

Dr. Robert M. Bernstein Speaks at ISHRS 2016

Dr. Robert M. Bernstein Speaks at ISHRS 2016

Graft selection makes Robotic FUE hair transplants more efficient and improves patient outcomes.

Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University and founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, presented results of his study, “Robotic Follicular Unit Graft Selection,” at the 2016 ISHRS World Congress held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Graft selection is a key advance in the ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant System, a hardware and software suite that automates aspects of the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplant procedure. The enhancement makes Robotic FUE more efficient and improves patient outcomes.

Dr. Bernstein presented the results of a peer-reviewed, bilateral controlled, randomized study that he co-authored with Dr. Michael B. Wolfeld and which was published in the June 2016 issue of the journal Dermatologic Surgery. The study found that robotic graft selection can yield 17% more hairs per harvest attempt and 11.4% more hairs per graft than the prior system, which selected grafts at random. By automating the graft selection process, the ARTAS robot creates fewer wounds, which leads to fewer scars in the donor area – the area in the back and sides of the scalp from which follicular units are harvested – and an improved aesthetic outcome.

Graft selection is a process in FUE hair transplants to be used as each follicular unit – a tiny, naturally occurring bundle of one to four hair follicles – is chosen for extraction. Physicians who perform FUE procedures using manual, hand-held devices visually select each of the up to two thousand grafts that are extracted in a FUE hair transplant. Complicating the process, if too many large units are extracted, there may not be enough small units for transplantation to aesthetically sensitive areas like the frontal hairline. Extracting too many small units may result in unnecessary wounding in the donor area. The surgeon has to balance extracting the greatest number of follicles with creating the fewest possible wounds.

Early versions of the ARTAS robot, which automates several key steps in a FUE procedure, selected follicular units randomly. Dr. Bernstein, who has been collaborating with Restoration Robotics Inc. since its clinical release in 2011, set about to develop this graft selection function. The result of this collaboration is a sophisticated automated graft selection system that makes the ARTAS system more efficient and improves aesthetic outcomes of Robotic FUE hair transplant procedures. Dr. Bernstein introduced preliminary results of the graft selection study at the annual ARTAS User Group Meeting in February 2015.

Dr. Bernstein presented final results of the study at the 24th ISHRS World Congress held in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, September 30, 2016. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS) is the pre-eminent association of hair transplant surgeons in the world, with more than 1,200 members from 70 countries. Dr. Bernstein participates in this annual event, often to present results of a major study published that year. This year, he also lead a discussion session titled “Robotic FUE - Advances and Evolution.”

About Robert M. Bernstein, MD, MBA, FAAD, FISHRS

Dr. Robert M. Bernstein is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York; renowned hair transplant pioneer; and founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration. His more than 70 medical publications have fundamentally transformed the field of hair restoration and he has received the highest honor in the field given by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). Dr. Bernstein has been featured on: The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Doctors on CBS, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, Univision, and many other television programs. He has been interviewed by GQ Magazine, Men’s Health, Vogue, Columbia Business, The Columbia Journalist, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

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Barbara Werner
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