What Is the S.A.F.E. System?
The S.A.F.E (Surgically Advanced Follicular Excision) System was developed in 2003 by Golden Follicle Award winner Dr. James Harris. This was a first-in-kind FUE device that was used to isolate and excise single follicular units. S.A.F.E introduced a two-step system combining a hybrid sharp/blunt dual punch to ensure proper penetration with a lower risk of transection. This gave way to mainstream adoption of the FUE technique. This brilliant device has been made obsolete through technological evolution, but ultimately gave way to the advancements we see in hair restoration today.
Some of the notable features of this system are:
- It was an industry-defining device.
- It allowed for minimal scarring.
- It improved dermal penetration and reduced risks.
- It was the first device to lower transection rates to sub-10%.
Note that the S.A.F.E. system is being discontinued and not available at all MAXIM locations.
Robotic Hair Transplants
Robotic medicine is already a major player in the medical world. The da Vinci robot has been used for almost 25 years to perform general surgeries. Smaller robots have even been incorporated in life flights to provide physician care during patient delivery. It’s truly the future of medicine and an amazing era to bear witness to. However, as you might imagine, these devices do have their shortcomings.
Even though the da Vinci robot has been around for over two decades, it still has malfunctions that can elongate surgical time, increase trauma, and even cause complications, and it doesn’t perform the surgery a surgeon does. A hair transplant robot is no different. While one uses AI, it’s still ripe for human error in settings, design, graft counts, and misunderstanding of the machine’s shortcomings.
This is to say that even an AI-functioning robot is subject to the skill of its master, and though the technology does have its place in hair restoration, it may be a long time before it can take the claim as the ultimate method.
Technically, a majority of currently used FUE technologies are robotic devices in some respect, with the exception of the rarely used manual punch, which is similar to a biopsy tool. However, there are a couple of robots with personalities on the market using artificial intelligence to perform harvesting and site making. These methods share the benefit of no linear scarring and also incorporate a two-step hybrid of a sharp/blunt punch, an incorporation dating back to the S.A.F.E. system.
AI for hair restoration has these benefits:
- Analyzes, monitors, and tracks key factors, such as angle, size, and count.
- Adjusts during patient movement.
- Chooses grafts randomly to avoid over harvesting.
- Maps patterns of loss and growth.
- Adjusts angles for harvest to avoid transection.
- Uses agile robotic arms with ultra-high dexterity.
- Uses speed algorithms that can be manually adjusted.
- Makes less room for human exhaustion to play a role in errors.
- Uses a touch-screen interface with unique Internet of Things options.
Some shortcomings of robotic hair transplants are that clinicians typically have far more experience using robotic devices that are manually controlled. When properly skilled, the clinician can outpace the robot at dramatic speeds, which means a higher chance of graft survival and less time enduring physical stress. The robot can also make recipient sites, although you’ll find that very few clinicians opt to use this function, attributing it to the slow speeds and frequency of site-making malfunction.
The robotic devices of this nature are incredibly expensive, the kits that must be used for the robots are also very expensive and, consequently, this cost is passed down to the patient. It’s certainly a cool device to experience and can be ideal if you’re a lower graft case, but it certainly isn’t the most bang for your buck, as a skilled clinician will almost always out-perform them.
- This page is for educational and informational purposes only. MAXIM does not offer Robotic Hair Restoration since we believe that the technologies that we utilize are better suited for MEGA session hair transplants up to 4,000 Grafts.