For those of you who have been researching hair transplant surgery, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘punch size.’ For those of you who are unfamiliar, punch size refers to the size of the tool that is used to extract and sometimes make new places for the transplanted follicles to rest on the scalp.
Common punch sizes used by hair transplant surgeons range from 0.75mm-1.0mm. Recent evidence on the use of larger punch tools has shown that they increase the risk for scarring. One of the great things about the FUE method of hair transplant surgery is that it has minimal risk for scarring. Using a larger punch size negates this benefit. Most experienced hair transplant surgeons, including Dr. Yazdan, agree the smaller the punch size the better.
Some doctors who still use the larger punch size claim that the larger punch allows them to extract follicles containing 2, 3, and 4 hairs. The truth is, punch size has little to do with what type of hair follicles that can be extracted. What plays a bigger role, is skill and experience. More often than not, these doctors lack the expertise needed to extract follicles containing multiple hairs using a smaller tool.
The other scenario where we still see larger punch sizes being used, is with robotic devices. Robots and automated tools can’t be as precise as a tool operated by a human hand. Therefore, they utilize a larger punch size in an attempt to increase extraction results. The problem with this is that the risk for scarring increases dramatically. Further, the success rate for transplanted follicles decreases dramatically due to the trauma induced by the large punch.
Here at Modena, we utilize a 0.7mm punch for extractions. When it’s time to transplant the follicles, we set aside the punch and utilize tiny incisions. This not only reduces the risk for scarring but reduces the risk of shock loss in surrounding existing follicles.