The privately-held medical device company, recently announced that its ARTAS™ System, has received 510K clearance from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for harvesting hair follicles from the scalp in men diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) with black or brown straight hair.
ARTAS™ is a physician-controlled, interactive, computer-assisted system that enables harvesting of hair follicles during hair restoration procedures. It combines several features including an image-guided robotic arm, special imaging technologies, small dermal punches, and a computer interface. The ARTAS™ System is capable of identifying and harvesting individual follicular units to implement the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique.
“Many patients are seeking less invasive alternatives to the current hair restoration techniques,” said Miguel Canales, MD, Medical Director, Restoration Robotics. “There is growing interest in FUE because of its many patient benefits, such as less discomfort and a quicker return to normal activities. The ARTAS™ System solves many of the technical challenges experienced by physicians currently attempting the FUE procedure, which gives physicians and patients an exciting new choice.”
Hair restoration is performed as an office-based procedure. Implanted hairs develop their own blood supply, begin to grow, and new hairs are seen a few months after the procedure. New hair continues to grow over the course of a full year, making the change in the patient’s appearance gradually noticeable to others.
“I believe the ARTAS™ system will make hair restoration more attractive to a broader group of patients,” said James Harris, MD, of the Hair Sciences Center in Denver, CO. “In my practice, I have seen a significant increase in patients asking for FUE because of its minimally invasive approach. They really liked the rapid healing and lack of a linear scar, which makes this procedure different from the strip method.”
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, at least 35 million men in the United States are affected by male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. By age 50, approximately 50% of men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss. Approximately one in four men suffer from male pattern baldness (MPB), which has psychological, professional and social consequences.
While prescription remedies offer some benefits to existing hair, hair restoration moves healthy, functioning follicles to the areas of the patient’s scalp most impacted by baldness for more dramatic results. Hair restoration is a popular cosmetic procedure, with an estimated number of procedures exceeding 100,000 in the U.S. in 2009. Hair restoration is the only permanent solution for hair loss and can result in a natural, undetectable outcome.