“The ARTAS Robotic FUE procedure is now available in Singapore for those seeking to improve their thinning hair” September 2013
Click The Play Button To Listen To Dr Ma’s Full Interview About ARTAS Hair Transplant On 93.8FM December 2013.
Click The Play Button To Listen To Dr Ma’s Full Interview, Body and Soul, Mediacorp 93.8FM in January 2015.
At Freia, Dr. Harold Ma consistently strives to refine his surgical hair restoration techniques to improve the patient experience and result. In addition to our existing FUE and traditional FUT (strip) techniques, we introduced in September 2013 the ARTAS robotic hair transplant technology, and then in September 2015 the upgraded ARTAS 3K for even greater precision.
This physician-guided robotic system is a US FDA approved technique, to perform Robotic Follicullar Unit Extraction (RFUE) procedures.
The robotic system carefully harvests follicular units with minimal wastage, using digital technology. Laser-guided, precision robotics harvest permanent hair follicles from the back of the head individually.
The grafts are then transplanted into balding or thinning areas where they will grow with a natural appearance.
The precision of this robotic FUE system must be coupled with the experience, skill and artistry of the doctor in order to achieve optimal results. It is not only the harvesting but the transplanting of the donor hair that sets apart a clinically acceptable outcome from an aesthetic success. Having performed traditional FUT/FUE procedures for many years, we are happy that the ARTAS 3K Robot is a great complement to our team.
As of September 2015, we are proud to feature the upgraded 3K version of ARTAS. With this upgrade, an even higher level of precision, yield and graft quality has been achieved.
How does hair transplantation with ARTAS™ work?
Step 1: Follicular Mapping – Under the strict control of Dr. Harold Ma, the system utilizes digital imaging to map out possible follicles for harvest.
Step 2: Robotic Extraction – After the precise calculations are made, the robotic arm harvests follicular units from the donor area. The robot system digitally identifies each follicular unit, and then the small needle system is deployed to separate each follicular unit from the surrounding tissue.
It continuously re-calculates hair position, angle, and other parameters to track each follicular unit to achieve optimal harvest results. The technology targets follicular units in a random fashion to ensure the donor areas retain their natural appearance.
Step 3: Manual Implanting – The individual follicular units are stored until they are implanted into the recipient area resulting in natural-looking hair re-growth. Dr. Harold Ma personally extracts all the hair grafts robotically and then creates all the sites in the donor area. This is different from other establishments which leave these critical steps in the hands of a hair technician/nurse.
Step 4: The harvested hair grafts are implanted skilfully (using our “no-touch” technique) into the recipient site in a natural way. The “no-touch” technique is unique because the hair bulbs, which is the critical factory of the hair shaft, is protected from trauma and stress typical of older methods of implantation.
What is follicular unit hair restoration?
Normal hair grows in groupings called follicular units. Typically, each follicular unit consists of one to four-hair follicles. Hair restoration or hair transplantation is a procedure during which the doctor removes individual follicular units from a donor site (located on the back and/or sides of the head) and transplants these units into the balding area of the head.
How will my hair look after the procedure?
Surgical hair transplantation provides natural looking results in general. Most patients experience minimal scarring in the donor area. Patients are able to wear their new hair with confidence.
How is this procedure different from the old “Hair Plugs” people used to get?
Old fashioned “hair plugs” included the harvesting of large patches of hair follicles that resulted in an awkward and unnatural appearance once implanted. The robotic transplantation system uses its computer-assisted robotic arm and digital mapping to pinpoint individual follicular units from the donor area for dissection. This process is similar to traditional FUE techniques, but provides the doctor with more control and precision in obtaining hair grafts. Based on these principles, our doctor is able to extract healthy robust grafts for optimal growth.
Will the results of hair transplantation be permanent?
This procedure transplants permanent hair, typically from the back of the head, to thinning areas of the scalp. Dr. Ma calls this the “safe or permanent zone”. As this hair is not susceptible to conditions that cause male pattern baldness (DHT influence), transplanted hair is long lasting.
How long does the hair transplant procedure take?
It usually takes between four to eight hours depending on the number of grafts needed, ease of the case, etc. You are seated or reclined during the process, and the doctor and staff are there with you to maximize your comfort throughout the procedure. Lunch and toilet breaks will be provided.
How long will the healing time be?
3 to 7 days in most cases. Recovery time with the ARTAS 3K FUE procedure is less than with most surgical cosmetic procedures. As there is no linear incision or stitching required with an ARTAS 3K procedure, healing time is short, and you can usually go back to your daily activities after two to three days. We normally schedule a follow up visit the morning after the procedure to examine your scalp and to teach you how to take care of your newly implanted hair follicles. It takes approximately 9 days for the transplanted hair to “take” and for growth cells to be transferred from the follicles to the scalp. Once healed, the implanted hairs will form a scab which can be gently rubbed off after a few days. Your appearance quickly returns to “normal.”
When will my new hair start to grow?
Transplanted hair grows naturally in phases. The newly implanted hair takes time to develop its own blood supply. New hair is not usually seen until at least 3 months after the transplant, and will continue to grow over the course of 12 months. At approximately 6 months, most patients start to enjoy a noticeable improvement and after 12 to 18 months, the final results are observed. Individual variation can occur.
Will people know I have had a hair restoration procedure?
Because the ARTAS 3K System harvests each follicular unit individually, there is no linear scar at the donor site as with the “strip” method. We are very experienced in helping patients have as inconspicuous a recovery as possible, with many strategies developed over the years. With the procedure, any scarring (microdots) is minimal and is virtually undetectable. Transplanted hair grows in gradually, over a period of a year, reducing the chance that people will notice the procedure.
Does the hair transplant procedure hurt?
The procedure, performed in our specially designed hair restoration suite requires only a local anesthetic. Once the scalp is numb, the patient feels no pain. Some patients can experience minor discomfort and swelling post procedure, which subsides in one to three days. At our clinic, 9 out of 10 patients report that they felt little to no pain during or after and did not need any pain relief medication.
Will there be visible scarring in the Donor area?
Because the procedure harvests individual follicular units rather than removing a large area of scalp requiring sutures, there is minimal scarring in the donor area. Patients are able to wear their hair at almost any length or style with confidence. Come see our actual “before and after” results in our clinic today.
Do I have to cut my hair before treatment?
Trimming the patient’s hair in the donor area allows the system to accurately visualize, track and harvest each follicular unit for transplantation. We will trim your hair accordingly in the clinic on the day of the procedure.
For smaller procedures, patients can choose to trim only a small harvest area. It is possible to leave our clinic without any trace of a hair transplant procedure. We have many different options for clients with different needs from a hair style point of view: speak to us for a tailored, personalised solution.
What is the cost of the ARTAS hair transplantation procedure?
Treatment costs depend on the number of grafts required, difficulty of the procedure, etc. Feel free to discuss the procedure pricing with us. We have a different solution for every budget. Just talk to us, we are ready to help.
I am an international patient considering the ARTAS procedure. How long should I plan my stay?
Our regional and international clients typically spend a minimum of 3 days in Singapore: Arrive in Singapore and check in to the hotel on the first day, have the ARTAS procedure on day 2, return for a review on day 3, before flying home.
Our staff are fluent in Malay, Bahasa Indonesia, Mandarin and Burmese. You can have a Skype consultation with Dr. Ma prior to your arrival, to have all your concerns and questions answered. You have a choice of all 3 techniques of hair transplant at Freia: The traditional strip/FUT, FUE or the ARTAS Robotic FUE procedure, so you can make a balanced, informed decision on what is best for you. Think Hair, Think Dr. Harold.
Starting from January 2017, Dr Ma is honoured to be a Clinical Investigator collaborating with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) on hair biology.ed to be a Clinical Investigator collaborating with the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) on hair biology.
In less than 2 months, we have seen positive breakthroughs such as the expansion of primary keratinocytes where cells were seen migrating out of the follicles (See photos below).
Through this collaboration, we are poised to unlock the final mysteries of hair loss and hopefully put Singapore on the map for hair loss research