An Economical Innovative Use of a Dental Burr to Sharpen and Reuse Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Punches for Hair Transplantation
It can be quite challenging and expensive for hair transplant surgeons practising follicular unit extraction (FUE) techniques to replace a sharp punch every time it becomes blunt, particularly during hair transplant giga sessions. Most good quality punches tend to be expensive and require to be replaced once they lose their sharpness, especially since we know that the sharpness of the punch plays a key factor in minimizing transection rates and buried grafts.
We have used a simple dental burr as an innovative technique of sharpening FUE punches of any diameter multiple times [Figure 1]. This can be done by placing the FUE punch in the motorized hand piece, set at a speed less than 500 rpm, and bringing the conical edge of the dental burr through the lumen of the punch, near the tip of the inner bevel of the punch for 2–3 s [Figure 2]. The punch can also be sharpened by bringing the sharp edge of the dental burr circumferentially along the outer edge of the punch in the motorized hand piece, while it is set at a speed less than 500 rpm [https://links.lww.com/JCAS/A2]. This technique has helped increase the life time of a punch by making it reusable. Sharp punches which normally last only a few surgeries can effortlessly be used for multiple surgeries, which in turn has reduced the financial burden on the surgeon and subsequently the patient. In comparison to other expensive punch-sharpening devices, this technique is economical, lasts a life time, and can be easily autoclaved. Hence, it has proven to be a must-have instrument for all FUE surgeons, enabling them to reuse a single punch for multiple surgeries, maintaining consistently good surgical results at an economical cost.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
1. Joseph HL. A method for sharpening biopsy punches AMA Arch Derm. 1958;78:393–4
2. Watson JB. Whetstones for sharpening curettes and punches Arch Dermatol. 1960;82:263
Dental burr; dull punch; follicular unit extraction; FUE punches; punch sharpening; sharp punch
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