Health Check: Robotic hair restoration
CRANSTON, R.I. —
The doctor's office is one of the few places you'll see Chris Coppa without his baseball cap on.
"I started losing my hair when I was in high school. The deciding factor for me to do something about my hair loss was because I'm tired of always wearing a baseball hat," Coppa said.
A few weeks ago Coppa went through a new hair transplant procedure that promises to change all that. It's a robotic system called Artas.
"This is the most precise device to harvest follicular units that is available to date," said Dr. Robert Leonard of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates.
The back of Coppa's head was shaved so hair could be harvested from a healthy part of his head to transplant where it's needed. That's not new. But how it's harvested is. Instead of removing an entire strip of hair-bearing scalp, each individual follicle is removed robotically.
"I control the device 100 percent. I have a little remote, actually, and we have a large TV screen. Everything's magnified so I can see exactly where the next harvest will be, and if I don't like where that harvest is -- for example, if there's a prior scar or something -- I can skip over that one and go to the next one," Leonard said.
Small hairs will grow initially, but then fall out. But within six months, Chris should notice results.
But at the back of his head, "the hair grows back and it completely hides those little tiny dots that are remaining," Leonard said.
Leonard said the new robotic hair transplantation system is great for people who wear their hair very short, like Coppa, because it doesn't leave a mark. And he said it's very precise.
While Coppa should see results in about six months, it'll probably take 18 months before his new hair has fully grown in.