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ARTAS And NeoGraft, Just Gimmicks Or Do They Have Their Place?

While hair transplant technology is certainly advancing, are product manufacturers selling products that actually enhance or improve the hair transplant patient experience or are these medical devices simply marketing tools?

Caller: Let me ask you one last question. I started talking to Joe about this but our time run out. You’ve got a good doctor, does something like ARTAS or NeoGraft does it make them a better doctor or is it purely a gimmick?

Spencer Kobren: I don’t say it’s not a gimmick. I don’t think it necessarily makes them a better doctor. I think that the doctor makes the device a better device.

Joe Tillman: Well said.

Spencer Kobren: What does that mean? That means that these devices are capable of--When it comes to say NeoGraft for instance, of scoring the skin using relatively small punches and then extracting the grafts through suction. Now there are doctors out there who aren’t fans of the suction so they turn the suction aspect of it off. They think the hand piece is really good and they like the size of the punches that are used. In the right hands for someone who knows what they’re doing, who has the right staff, the NeoGraft can be a great device. Same goes for the ARTAS.

If the physician understands how to utilize all the parameters of that robot and understand it’s limitations, then yes, the robot is going to bring in patients but it’s going to be in my view the skilled doctor--The skilled surgeon that’s going to maybe utilize the robot to the patients’ benefit. So, I guess that’s the best way for me to answer it. I personally think that these are all just different tools and if someone is using say one of systems through Cole instruments, what’s it? The-

Joe Tillman: PCID.

Spencer Kobren: PCID, Dr Devroye’s instrument the WAW system, Dr Harris’ instrument, the Safe System, manual punches, if the team is good and the doctor knows what they’re doing then the outcome is going to be good.

Joe Tillman: And when I’ve talked to even the doctors I’ve work with some of them have used hand held motors, some of them have used manual, what it comes down to is what they feel delivers a great graft and I’ve got a doctor that swears by manual, it's like manual is the only way for me to go. That’s his experience, that’s what he likes to do. He gets great results. And I’ve got another one says, well the WAW system is fantastic, it’s like strip quality grafts, and what more could you want and they get great results.

Spencer Kobren: There is a doctor, Dr. Umar here in California who is going to be introducing— And did introduce a kind of ultrasonic punch, that is interesting that he believes that he’s going to help to change the field, I’m not sure, we're all going to have to wait and see,  but someone may end up getting their hands on this ultrasonic tool basically it's like ultrasonic scalar, or almost like a tooth brush but more like a tooth scalar as far as the speed and that’s going to-- At least the way it’s been described make it easier for almost a manual type of a punch to score the skin without any rotation.

There’s no twisting, no possible torsion, there’s less heat being generated, things of that nature. We’ll see how well it works but there’s all different devices and it really depends on the practitioner in my view. Lots of guys like you said Joe, they do manual, it’s a long arduous pain in the ass for these guys but they believe that it’s the best way to get their patients where the need to be.

 

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The International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons is a consumer organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. The IAHRS does not offer an open membership policy to doctors practicing hair transplatation, and is the only group that recognizes that all surgeons are not equal in their skill and technique. Its elite membership seeks to represent the best in the discipline, the true leaders in the field of surgical hair restoration.