Letters to the Editor

Removal of Treble Fishhooks


Am Fam Physician. 2002 Feb 1;65(3):384-386.

to the editor: I would like to commend the authors of “Fishhook Removal.”1 I have attempted all of the methods described in the article at one time or another, based on the presentation of the anatomic location involved. However, one situation needs additional clarification: the presentation of a treble hook when two or three of the barbs are imbedded simultaneously. The mechanica structure of a treble hook does not allow simultaneous advancement of the hook with this type of presentation.

In this case, I have used a technique of cutting through the base of the treble with orthopedic pin cutters that separate the remaining hooks of the treble into single hooks. At this point, any of the mentioned methods can be employed.

The key to success is to use orthopedic pin cutters. No other instrument, including ring cutters, pliers, or trauma scissors, are heavy enough to cut through the nickel-plated base that are found on various treble hooks. We have successfully removed treble hooks on numerous occasions with this method when the “Big Catch of the Day” was a human here in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


1. Gammons M, Jackson E. Fishhook Removal. Am Fam Physician. 2001;63:2231–6.

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This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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