Since the reintroduction of silicone breast implants back in 2006, many women have decided to have revision surgery performed to replace their saline implants with the new natural looking and feeling silicone gel implants. One of the principal discussions that a plastic surgeon has with his patient is that a larger incision is required to place the implant into the breast pocket, since the silicone implant is pre-sealed from the manufacture and the volume can not be altered prior or after insertion. There has always been a little trade off of the breast incision size, for the natural look and feel of silicon implants, versus the smaller incision size of saline breast implants.
Using silicone implants also requires the plastic surgeon to plunge their finger into the implant when stuffing it through the breast incision hole and into the breast pocket. Even though silicone beast implants, are built to withstand tremendous blunt force without rupture, adding any additional pressure is always discouraged to reduce the risk of damaging the implant.
Over the past five years many surgeons have attempted to look for new ways to insert breast implants without the need to touch the implants directly or have them come in contact with any external elements like the outer skin of the patient. Dr. Kevin Keller invented a relatively simple device that is proving to reduce many of the risk associated with breast augmentation. It’s called appropriately the Keller Funnel™ after the inventor. It consists of nothing more than a coned pastry-decorating style funnel bag with a special lubricating surface that is lined with a hydrophilic polymer coating. This lubrication, once moistened, makes the funnel so slippery that the implant can be placed into the wide end, and then pushed out the small end, and right into the proper position without ever being touched by human hands. The fact that the surgical team never has to touch the implant, even when wearing surgical gloves in the best possible sterile environment, reduces risk of infection and capsular contracture.
The surgeon takes a pre-filled silicone implant, while in it’s sterile container, and then gently drops it into the Keller Funnel, without physically touching it directly. Taking the extruding end, the surgeon places the exit of the funnel into a very small breast incision. Like a cake decorator – the surgeon gently applies pressure to the base of the funnel forcing the silicone implant through the small opening of the funnel, now inserted through the breast incision into the breast pocket. With a simple even force of pressure the silicone breast implant pops right through the small incision and into the newly created pocket.
This new technique is expected to revolutionize the way breast augmentations are performed with the following benefits:
- Reduced risk of infection and capsular contracture from no-touch method
- Reduced breast incision
- Reduced operatory time
- Reduced trauma to wound area
- Reduced stress on implant, lowering complications to breast augmentation patients
- More choices for incisions
To learn more about the Keller Funnel™ watch this video from the Plastic Surgery Channel