View Full Version : ARTAS Hair restoration My Experience

07-24-2015, 08:58 PM
Hello all;

I felt compelled to contribute my recent experience with the ARTAS hair restoration system as I had found this forum extremely helpful in making my personal decision in undergoing this process.

I'm 58 and live in NJ. I had enjoyed a full and thick head of hair for most of my life and really never thought much about hair loss. When I turned 40, I noticed a bit of thinning around the crown area, but I am tall so no one ever noticed and my hairline was still thick and full, so I ignored it. As grew older the thinning continued and started to get a bit larger. During this time, I had noticed that I would go through heavy shedding, almost like in clumps, and then it would stop. This went on and off for several years, but I still had enough hair that it didn't really show. I tried Monoxidil and Proprecia for a bit, but it didn't seem to do anything so I stopped about after 6 months. But the hair continued to fall out slowly, moving from the crown forward. Even at 50, it wasn't really bad, the bald spot on the crown grew, but the top of my head was still thick with good coverage. I went for a consult with Bosely at this time and went through the pitch. Something about slicing a section off the back of your head just didn't appeal to me, and to be honest, it really hadn't started to look that bad yet. Plus I started to research the process, and there were a number of horror stories from post op recovery to having no results at all after the procedure. Plus the numerous lawsuits filed against Bosely didn't help either. Then about 55, I started to notice considerable thinning on the top where faint signs of skin was showing through. And as time progressed, it started to get worse, with more skin showing and having only fine hairs growing in and around my crown. At the end, the part I had was getting wider and more skin showing. When my son picked my up from the airport having not seen me for 4 months, he remarked that it was easy to pick me out in the crowd because of my bald spot. Well that made my mind up that I had to start to do something.

So I started to research hair loss remedies again. Well technology had moved forward and I found the ARTAS robotic system. As I researched further, including experiences on this forum, I became very impressed with the technology, the fast recovery time, and the relatively painless procedure. And more importantly, nobody was going to slice a chunk out of your head. I understood that the process was relatively new, but could not find any negatives posted anywhere about the procedure and only positive results. Now I have to admit, I have a low threshold to pain and I hate needles. But from what I had read, the injections was the worst of it and the procedure was relatively painless, time consuming, but painless.

Now I needed to find someone in my area to perform the procedure. In searching the various doctors and clinics, I stumbled across a Dr. Tony Sparano in Wall NJ. Yeah, I thought that was funny as well, although spelt differently. His website indicated that he used the ARTAS to harvest the hair, but inserts it by hand to ensure a better appearance. So I scheduled a consult the next day. Appears that he only does one procedure a day and was pretty well booked. I like the fact that he didn't have a revolving door practice and that he devoted the entire day for my procedure. I asked all the normal questions, but was more concerned on how much pain should I expect. He told me that I should not feel anything during the procedure, and any post surgery pain, if any, can be easily managed with Alieve or Advil. But there was the pre surgery injections, and there was a number of them. But the needles were thin and the pain momentary. We also discussed that with the ARTAS system and his manually placing the hairs, he was limited in doing about 1,300 - 1,700 hair follicles a day so we had to choose between the crown or the top and then do the remaining area at a later date. I told him that there will be no second time, as I am willing only to go through this once. So we decided on the top as the crown was less noticeable. With a deep breath, or maybe it was a whimper, I said schedule me in your next available.

Three weeks flew by and it was pre procedure day and I needed to shave my head in the back to 1 millimeter. Never in my life had I had my hair that short, and now was thinning badly on top, I couldn't imagine what a short hair cut will look on me. So I went down to the stylist and said I needed the back and sides cut "High and Tight" and try to see what you can do with the top to make it look presentable. And if all else fails, shave the whole thing. It turned out ok, the thinning on top was now very noticeable, but the cut was not as bad as I thought it could had been.

I was scheduled to be at the office at 6:25AM and expected to be there to 5:00PM. I was told to take a pill before I left home for the 45 minute ride to the office, but had to be driven and picked up. After 10 minutes, I realized why. It was a great pill, started to feel very relaxed. Upon arrival, I was given 4 more pills, some kind of long lasting valium, which relaxed me even more. Then the needles, I did mention I hated needles didn't I. So the first shot was in the eyebrow, and boy did it burn, but for some reason, I didn't care lol. Then the temples, and then the back of the neck. So after 6 or 8 shots, I was ready and moved into the ARTAS room. Sat in a forward leaning massage type chair and Dr. Sparano started to score the top of my head where the transplanted hair will be inserted. The robotic arm was positioned over my head and with Dr, Sparano at the controls, it started harvesting The machine made a thump thump noise, and I did feel it, but not painful at all. As the minutes ticked by, I heard the thumping noise of the machine, but felt nothing. Almost like it was missing my head completely. It was so painless and uneventful, that I had actually fell asleep several times during the 4 hours of harvesting. After lunch, I was still feeling good and we started the insertions. Three young female lab technicians surrounded me and with Dr, Sparano standing over me, the transplanting started. Just as painless as the harvesting, the hairs were placed one by one. By 4:00PM it was done, 1,948 follicles, a new record. And he was able to not only fully fill in the top, but a goodly amount on the crown as well. Bandaged the back of my head up and went home.

That evening, I was waiting for the meds to wear off and expecting a lot of pain, but it never came. A bit of soreness, and a little bleeding, but that was about it. Didn't think I could lay on my back to fall asleep, but a towel on the pillow and it was fine. Fell asleep like it was just another day. The next day was the same, but had my follow up visit. Slight swelling but less than normal, removed the bandages, checked the implants, showed me how to clean my hair for the next few days, spray on some moisturizing liquid to promote healing, and scheduled another follow up in 10 days. Quick, simple, and painless.

Today is day 4 and I'm almost back to normal. A little annoying not to be able to wash my hair normally, but my normal hair is growing back. Kind of getting used to the short haircut. Scabs fell of the harvest area yesterday with application of Neosporin and as I was wiping it off for bedtime. I was surprised that the harvest and implant area did not itch as much as I thought it would. Actually, it was barely itchy at all. Not sure if I want to go through this again, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined.

I hope this will be of benefit to others looking to do this procedure, and while the results will not be known to me for another 3 months to a year, I am hopeful and optimistic from the results of others on this forum. But if you have any reservations regarding pain, it's not that bad. I could honestly say getting a dental filling would be about the same if not worse. Post procedure is a drag as you have to baby your new implants for a few days to a week, but I am told it will be back to normal shampooing and combing in 10 days. So definitely worth while. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and hope my experience will help those who are still on the fence. Thanks for reading, Allan

09-06-2015, 08:20 PM
Quick update, it's been about over two months now and the new transplanted hairs are still there and growing. I was told that the hairs will shed, almost all of them by month three and regrow in with a noticeable difference by month 6. I still have a mild sun burned sensation when I press on the donor area, but it has been going away and it really isn't noticeable, even at it's worst. The new hairs are about 4mm now and started at 1mm, and the area of my crown that all I felt was skin before, now has a stubbly feel of all the new transplanted hairs. Even with the new short haircut, the balding areas have lessened considerably from looking in a mirror. Not 100% covered, but getting there. So far I am happy with the decision and can't wait until it fully grows in. I have been taking Proprecia daily and applying Monoxidil twice a day at my doctor's suggestion in attempts to give it the best shot we can. Only time will tell, but looking good so far.

10-14-2016, 11:29 PM
It has now been over a year since I had the procedure. Overall, I am happy with the results. I had over 1,800 transplants and honestly it has turned the clock back about 10 years when I first started to notice. Not perfect, but much better than before. I would say it covered about 80%. The crown was not my main objective, rather the part line forward of the crown. But we did plant some in the crown area. The crown is better, but you can still see skin. The most improved area was the part line and again, about 80% coverage. You can still see hints of skin from the top, but being tall and looking straight ahead, it looks well covered and so much better than before. I promised myself that I would undergo this only once no matter what the outcome and while I don't think I will need another procedure in the near future, the specter of having 100% coverage is appealing. During the year, I was religiously using Minoxidil and Proprecia. I don't believe they grew new hair, but reduced the shedding. I am still using the Monoxidil but weaned off of the Proprecia. And it is true, it does affect your sex life. Not that it gives you ED but just the desire to have sex. Once off, that came back fairly quickly. Like I have mentioned above, the procedure itself was not so bad, but the recovery was a bit annoying. Not the pain so much, but growing out the buzz cut and the special care you need to do for about 6 weeks after. All in all, well worth the money and effort and I still may be going back for a second go. Thanks and good luck.

10-15-2016, 05:58 AM
Good read! could you post some before and after photos?

Rashid Rashid, MD, PhD
10-15-2016, 06:20 AM
Thanks for sharing

10-15-2016, 12:34 PM
The view from the top is the most telling. This is the before shot. Not only was it visible from the top, but very apparent from all angles. The hair diameter was very thin at the top and clumps of hair would shed daily.


This shot was just taken. As you can see, there is thinning still in the crown area and just a slight amount on the part line (click on picture to enlarge) but from the front as if you were looking into a mirror, it looks fully covered. The lighting doesn't help it either.


Honestly, most people don't even notice the thinning anymore, unless they are standing right on top of you. Needless to say, I am sure no two people will have the same results and I was not expecting the results you see in ads of 100% coverage. But overall I am very happy with the outcome. For someone as cynical as me, not to mention pain adverse, I may just have another go at it to clean up some of the thin spots and cover up the crown. And to be fair, I was told from the onset that the procedure was to address the part line with a secondary objective of the crown if we had enough follicles to go around. I'm still using Monoxidil, albeit once a day, but rarely see more than one or two strands shedding off and now the hair on the top is as thick as I remembered it. I hope this helps you and others in making this decision, but for me, I am very happy I did it. Good luck Allan.