Hair Transplants – Robotic Vs Manual


The very first hair transplant is said to have been done in the year 1822 in Germany, when a medical student, along with his mentor, tried transplanting hair in animals. Diffenbach and his surgical mentor Dom Unger were of the opinion that with this procedure, baldness would eventually become a rarity. Little would they have known at that time, that hair transplantation would become such a huge domain and there would be so many new techniques and methods that would eventually come under its purview.

Today, there are so many different procedures available for hair transplant and each has its own set of pros and cons. There are also several techniques being launched and almost all of them are making the procedure simpler and the results more natural. These days, for people with severe hair loss or even bald patches, hair transplant has become a truly accessible procedure and a growing number of people are actually opting for the same too.

As someone who is considering a hair transplant, chances are that you will spend some time online, reading and researching the procedures. You will want to have some sensible questions ready for your doctor and you will also want to know which procedure would be the best choice for you. When you step into a good transplant clinic, the doctor will first and foremost put you through a proper exam, allowing them to gauge your donor and recipient areas. You need to understand that not everyone proves to be an eligible candidate for a hair transplant, which is why you need to undergo the exam.

Once you have been told that you can undergo a hair transplant, the next stage comes – should you undergo a manual hair transplant or would a robotic one be the better choice. While there are merits to both, the choice for you would be best made with the advice of your hair transplant surgeon.

There are mainly two hair transplant techniques that are being used these days – the follicular unit transplantation or strip surgery method and follicular unit extraction. The former is used when there is a large recipient area that needs to be covered, while the latter method is the better choice when only a small area on the head needs to be covered. Normally, if the robotic method is being used, it will be for the FUE method and there are still only a handful of clinics in the world that offer this method.

When you are undergoing a manual FUE procedure, a doctor will used a handheld device to manually suction out each graft and then implant it into the recipient area. This is not only time consuming, but if the doctor is not sufficiently experienced, it could lead to not so great results. As a matter of fact, even in the hands of an extremely experienced hair transplant surgeon, you could be looking at around 2000 grafts in one sitting.

However, with a robotic extraction procedure, you could be looking at several multiples of the extracted follicles and that with a greater level of precision. A physician will guide the robotic hair transplant device and the machine will map out the donor area, making the decision of how many viable grafts can be extracted from the said region. Once the physician is satisfied with the mapping, the machine will do the actual extraction process. With the 3D mapping process, the scalp, the follicles and even the angle at which the extraction should be done can be determined in a matter of seconds. In certain robotic transplant machines, the position of each graft is updated several times, every second. The machine also ensures that the area is not over harvested, because that allows for the best hair transplant experience.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of the robotic hair transplant method is that the possibility of human error is immensely reduced – if a doctor is manually harvesting the grafts, there is bound to come a time, when fatigue will take over and this might cause errors. However, with a robot doing all the work, there are no chances of any fatigue setting in!

Here are some of the other major benefits of a robotic transplant versus a manual one:

  • In a robotic method, the donor area is calculated with immense precision – this means that there is an evenly calculated and distributed spacing between the grafts.
  • Research has shown that the grafts extracted through a robotic procedure are of a higher quality and the precision of the robotic method is much higher.
  • The robotic system works on computerised digital imaging, which is why the graft dissection is extremely precise and there is an extremely high level of consistency. The final result will be a fuller and better covered head of hair.
  • Because there is a machine involved, it is easy to program it – the depth at which the grafts are extracted can be decided well in advance and the natural appearance of the hairline can be maintained better.
  • With the digital mapping system, there is a better calculation about the main hair information, and this reduces the transection rate and ensures a better yield too. In addition, the protective layer of the follicles is also kept safe.
  • The donor areas as well as the recipient area are taken full care of – both will continue to look fuller and dense. After all, the final requirement of a hair transplant is that your hairline should look natural!
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