Plastic surgeons tend toward innovation, always seeking out ways to improve existing surgical techniques. The Keller funnel is one example of such an improvement. When used for placement of silicone breast implants, there are three primary advantages to this simple, yet ingenious, device.
1. Smaller Incisions
The Keller funnel is a disposable surgical tool that resembles the pastry tubes used in bakeries. The wide end accepts the implant, which is compressed as it travels through the funnel to the narrow end before placement through the incision and into the existing surgical pocket. With the aid of the funnel, the implant is made smaller, allowing for a shorter incision, even for silicone implants.
2. Reduced Skin Contact
Capsular contracture remains a concern of breast augmentation, particularly with the use of silicone implants. There is some conjecture that implant contact with the skin, which would normally occur during insertion, exposes the implant to bacteria that can contribute to this development of excessive scar tissue. The use of the Keller funnel minimizes contact with the patient’s skin; handling by the surgeon is also minimal.
3. Stress Reduction
Finally, incorporating the Keller funnel reduces stress on the implant itself as well as on the incision and surrounding tissue. Although unlikely, it’s possible that the force used to place the implant traditionally could contribute to a shell breach later on. Reduced pressure on the incision and surrounding tissue translates to a smoother surgery and incision closure as well as a more comfortable recovery for the patient.
Although no single gadget should be considered a substitute for surgical skill, there are definitely advantages of the Keller funnel that may help surgeons achieve better results during breast augmentation.