While hair loss for most men in inevitable at some point in their lives (and exacerbated by environmental factors, genetics and stress), everywhere we look – be it the big screen or the small ad – the image of success and sexiness is a man with a full head of hair.
Fortunately, in the medical field, there is a new, non-surgical solution to hair loss. Dr. Max Chumak, an experienced surgeon and hair transplant expert, recently opened the first clinic in Fort Lauderdale to introduce this new technology.
Q: What can I do to prevent my hair from falling out? What are my options?
Dr. Max: Historically, the most popular treatments have been strip surgery and follicular unit extraction, or FUE. Both are rather invasive procedures. Strip harvesting involves cutting out a band in the back of your head and transplanting parts of it onto the areas where you are losing hair. One obvious problem is that you end up with a huge scar in the back of your head, and have to wear your hair a certain length to cover it. FUE is a more gentle method – a surgeon uses a small needle to remove follicles and replant them. But these follicles are so small, it’s impossible to tell the direction of hair growth or whether the root has been cut. So, there are no guarantees done by the human hand and the method is not as precise as robotic hair restoration.
Q: These procedures sound serious.
Dr. Max: Well, strip harvesting is a surgical procedure that requires downtime, and FUE takes hours and has inconsistent results, because you should take into account many factors: the surgeon’s ability to extract accurately for hours on end, the viability of the follicles, etc. Surgeons are people, too, and when people get tired, mistakes happen.
Q: For those of us who are terrified of surgery and don’t like to deal with uncertainty, are there other options?
Dr. Max: Yes! There’s now a robotic technology called ARTAS that I recently introduced in my clinic, Maxim Medical, Robotic Hair Transplant Clinic. It’s similar to FUE, but instead of a surgeon, it’s the robotic technology that does the work, much faster and with much more precision. It’s tireless and accurate, and its transection rate the follicle during extraction so that it becomes unusable – is much, much lower than that of any surgeon. The machine has more than 95% accuracy rate, while a surgeon alone generally damages about 20% of the follicles.
Q: Is this new technology safe?
Dr. Max: It’s been approved by the FDA, and unlike the strip surgery option, there are no side effects. There’s no human error. I’m always in the room to ensure that everything goes smoothly and to talk my patients through the procedure, but it’s the machine that does the work. And because we’re talking about individual follicles here, there are no stitches, no meds and definitely no down-time.
Q: Realistically, what kind of results can I expect? Am I limited to a hair style?
Dr. Max: First of all, the hair is forever. It’s natural, permanent, and it’s your own hair. You are not limited to a hair style, because it is your own hair and you have no scarring to cover up.
Q: What convinced you, as a person and a doctor, to make the switch to ARTAS?
Dr. Max: That’s easy, it’s the most advanced technology we have today, and I want the best results for my patients. The hair regrowth is much higher than of traditional procedures.It’s faster, more precise, and you know what you will look like. During my free consultations, I sit down with a patient and ARTAS generates a 3D model of what the patient will look like. There is simply no other equivalent in hair regrowth.
Q: Can you walk us through the entire procedure, start to finish? What should I expect?
Dr. Max: Sure. I sit down with the patient for a discussion on what they would like to achieve. We create a 3D model of what my patient wants to look like and then the ARTAS robotic system calculates the optimal hair line for that person and the number of grafts that are needed. I then discuss these findings with my patients, and we have the machine create a site-making map, calculating the angle of follicular unit extractions and the direction of these extractions – after all, we don’t want your hair sticking out in all directions! This technology is created to not waste any follicles. After that, topical anesthesia is applied, and the robot does its work with me in control. After the procedure, you go back to your life as usual. There’s almost no recovery time.
Q: So it’s really that simple? Do your patients require other procedures or follow-ups?
Dr. Max: It’s really that simple, but I like to say to clients, we’ll give it all we’ve got, literally. For every patient who undergoes an ARTAS procedure, we provide them with a complementary platelet-rich plasma treatment (called PRP) for the scalp. It rejuvenates the scalp cells so that they enable hair growth even more. We also make specialized creams, offer an IV-cocktail of vitamins essential for hair growth, a laser cap, and much more. Basically, we take a comprehensive approach to achieve the best possible results.