Home Features Q&A: Dr. Sierra Talks Sierra Robotic Hair Institute

Q&A: Dr. Sierra Talks Sierra Robotic Hair Institute

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Do you wish for the days where you felt good about your hair? Or just want to change up your look? Check out Sierra Robotic Hair Institute, which is a premier hair restoration medical office. They feature the ARTAS iX Robotic System, the first and only robotic hair transplant system in the world that uses state-of-the-art robotic technology to perform follicular unit extraction (FUE). They also offer non-surgical options and advanced medical protocols such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), nutritional supplements, medications, IV therapy, and more to help restore hair.

Dr. Sierra

It was a pleasure to sit down with Dr. Sierra, board certified surgeon with over 18 years of surgical experience, for this exclusive Hotspots interview:

Dr Sierra, tell me about your education, and what made you open this office?

I went to Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México for medical school, completed an internship at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, and then came to the US for my surgical residency at Tulane University in New Orleans. At Tulane, I had the opportunity to do research in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, which was in its infancy at that time. I’ve published multiple journal articles and presented at both national and international conferences as a result of my years of research.

Once I finished my residency, I started using robotic technology very frequently in my practice. Since then, I have performed 1000’s of advanced robotic surgeries for multiple diseases, including cancer surgery. Through the eyes of my patients, I realized how hair loss affected the self-esteem and sense of confidence in patients undergoing cancer treatment. Often, one of the first questions from these patients would be “Am I going to lose my hair?” This inspired me to bring my robotic surgical expertise into the field of hair restoration, driven by patient-first principles.

Define hair transplantation?

Hair transplantation is a permanent solution to hair loss, where hair is moved from one area to another. It is a surgery that involves the removal of hair follicles from the scalp in the back of the head, referred to as the “donor site,” to a bald or balding part of the scalp, referred to as the “recipient site.” This procedure involves harvesting grafts that contain hair follicles (like the ones from the back of the head) which are genetically resistant to balding. These hair follicles are typically not prone to thinning due to resistance to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The harvested follicles from the donor site are transplanted to the desired region of the scalp or face (such as eyebrows, beard). This results in permanent hair growth in the recipient site.

What is FUE vs FUT?

There are two ways to remove a hair follicle during a hair transplant to move it from the donor area to the recipient area. One way is FUE, which stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. FUE is the preferred method because it leaves no visible scar, it is not painful, and it allows for an extremely fast healing time. I use FUE at Sierra Robotic Hair Institute. It is hands down the most sensible method due to these advantages. The other and older method is called follicular unit transplant (FUT), also known as the “strip method.” FUT is much less desirable because it leaves a large linear scar, causes more pain, and has a much longer recovery time.

You use ARTAS iX Robotic Hair Restoration, what is this?

The ARTAS iX Robotic System is the first and only robotic hair transplant system in the world. It uses robotic and artificial intelligence technology to perform FUE. One of the problems with manual FUE is that it is prone to human error as physicians must remove thousands of grafts by hand during the procedure, which is tiresome causing errors and possible damage to the grafts. These errors and fatigue are nonexistent with the robotic method.

The ARTAS iX robot is extremely accurate thanks to its multi-camera stereoscopic vision system with ultra-high resolution and seven-axis robotic arm. These features enable it to consistently and efficiently achieve the same superior quality of harvesting follicles with the greatest accuracy, without getting tired. This is important because the hair follicle should be as intact as possible in order to survive the transplant and produce hair once it is in the new location.

Is it true you offer free consultations?

Yes, I offer free initial consultations both in the office and virtually. During the consultation, I go over the patient’s medical history and family history. A thorough examination is conducted to explore their options for hair loss treatment, including a free scalp analysis. I also draw the hairline that the patient hopes to achieve. This is also a good opportunity to ask questions regarding hair restoration.

One thing I’ve heard about you is that you customize each patient’s experience. What does that entail exactly?

I take the time to get to know my patient’s unique goals. Not every patient wants the same hair. That is why I listen to each patient and together we make an individualized plan that fits their needs and lifestyle. Whether it is a hair transplant plus non-surgical strategies, or only non-surgical treatments, I give them a solution they are comfortable with.

How quick can someone get their procedure done?

It can be as early as one week, as long as there are no interfering medical problems, and our availability.

How long does the surgery take?

All sessions are done in one day! The length of the procedure varies depending on the size of the transplant, but usually takes between 5 to 10 hours. The patient arrives early in the morning, I go over the details of the procedure again to answer any final questions. Then, I draw the hair line and make sure that the patient is happy with the planned hair distribution. After we review the hair line/hair distribution, we give the patient a mild sedative and take him/her into the operating room. Once the patient is comfortably relaxing on the operating chair, I apply a local anesthetic and I begin harvesting the hair- this is the first stage of the procedure. While this is being done a hair technician is counting, cleaning, and evaluating the grafts under a microscope. Once harvesting is completed, we take a break for the patient to have lunch. After lunch we start the second stage, implantation. Usually patients like to watch tv or listen to music during this stage. I make tiny incisions in the recipient area, and the grafts are placed either robotically or by hand. At the end of the procedure the patient gets a detailed printout of all the post operative instructions and a complimentary take home care kit. I follow up with a call the next day and then a few more calls during the first week to check on my patient. Most patients can go back to their normal lifestyle in 48 hours.

How many follicles can you harvest during the procedure?

The max number of follicles we can get in one session is around 2500, but don’t forget each follicle can have between 1 and 5 hairs. Most people (99%) will be okay with one session.

How expensive is this and do you offer financing?

The price ranges from 6 to 20 thousand dollars for a hair transplant of the scalp, depending on the number of follicles (grafts) needed.  Beards and eyebrows are less since it is a smaller size. We do offer financing options.

What are the non-surgical hair restoration options?

A person is a good candidate for non-surgical hair restoration if he or she is experiencing early stages of hair loss, or in conjunction to a hair transplantation. Non-surgical options are meant to slow down hair loss and improve the quality of hair that has not been lost. Some of these non-surgical options include Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT), Platelet Rich Plasma, Topical Solutions, Medications, and IV Vitamin Therapy. Some patients also can benefit from Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP). SMP is an aesthetic procedure that gives the appearance of hair, similar to tattooing.

Is there anything else you want our readers to know?

Sure. The first thing is that Sierra Robotic Hair Institute is a medical practice exclusively dedicated to hair restoration. We know hair and we do it well! We are dedicated to providing amazing patient care. That’s why we only do one surgery per day, that way each patient has our undivided attention. I also pride myself in doing all aesthetic parts of the hair restoration surgery myself, instead of relying on technicians like many other hair restoration clinics do. I am there for my patient’s surgery 100% of the time. We get patients that choose us for their hair restoration needs from all over the country and internationally as well. And I like to think of my practice as boutique concierge style, where each patient gets an individualized experience. From the moment they call our office for the first time, to the initial consultation, to the treatment plan, to helping them find hotels, golf courses, and arranging dining reservations!

The best reward about what I do is seeing the positive impact a hair transplant or hair restoration treatment has on my patients. There is nothing better than listening to someone that has been feeling insecure, and in some cases even depressed, telling me that his or her life has radically improved, thanks to my help. That’s why I do what I do.

Sierra Robotic Hair Institute
2151 E Commercial Blvd Suite 204, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 954 – 776 – 0830
www.sierrarobotic.com.

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