Robotic Follicular Unit Graft Selection

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

The use of robotic technology to harvest grafts in a follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant procedure has been available since 2011. A new capability of the robotic system is to harvest follicular units based on the number of hairs they contain to increase the hair/wound yield.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the benefit of follicular unit graft selection during a robotic FUE procedure.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This bilateral controlled study of 24 patients was designed to evaluate the ability of a robotic system to perform follicular unit graft selection.

RESULTS

Compared with random follicular unit harvesting (the method performed by current robotic systems), robotic follicular unit graft selection produced more hairs per harvest attempt (2.60 vs 2.22) and more hairs per graft (2.72 vs 2.44). The clinical benefit of follicular unit graft selection (as measured by the increase in hairs per harvest attempt) was 17.0%. The clinical benefit (as measured by the increase in hairs per graft) was 11.4%. Results were statistically significant at p < .01.

CONCLUSION

This study demonstrates the ability of robotic follicular unit graft selection to increase the amount of hairs yielded per donor wounds made in an FUE procedure.

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