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Health: High-Tech Hair Treatment

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Hair loss is a problem for millions of people and now there's a new kind of transplant that uses cutting edge technology.  It's the new high tech way to do hair transplants with a robot.

It's called Artas, a 3-D microscopic camera feeds images into a computer that analyzes and maps.

Hairs on the back of the head and removes them with delicate precision.  Then they're individually transplanted by Dr. Thomas Griffin at his Philadelphia center, Griffin Hair Restoration.  He says, "The robot gives the advantage of very accurately extracting those follicles and therefore providing for the best possible final result."

Dr. Griffin says with traditional hair transplants there's scaring and the follicles are often damaged.

Artas eliminates that.  "It is the newest and greatest," according to Dr. Griffin.

Forty-two-year-old Chris Dixon had a robotic hair transplant about five months ago. "I like it, I like it a lot." Chris says.

Chris says his thinning hair made him look older than he felt and was especially noticeable after water sports.  He decided to try the robotic hair transplant because he wears his hair short and didn't want something unnatural looking, or scars.  He says, "This is what my hair should look like."

So is it painful?  Dr. Griffin says, "It's done with local anesthesia. I won't say it's painless, but it's well tolerated."

Chris says the first numbing injections were uncomfortable.  The procedure takes most of the day and there's a week long recovery.  It will take a year for Chris to see his new hairline.

And now Dr. Griffin is adding a therapy to the transplants.  It's P.R.P. plasma rich platelets, where a few vials of blood are taken from the patient and  separated in the centrifuge then the platelets are  injected into the scalp.  Dr. Griffin says, "These platelets contain growth factors which they release into the scalp .. these growth factors are involved in wound healing and also actually stimulating follicular growth .. what we're trying to do is maximize our results for our patients."

The plasma therapy can be used alone to stimulate hair growth or in combination with the robotic transplant.

Artas hair transplants can cost up to $10,000 and it's not covered by insurance.  The robotic hair transplant is currently only being done on men, but it could be expanded to women.



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