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What is the Keller Funnel?

The Keller Funnel is a device I have been using for about two years in my New Jersey breast implant practice that assists in the placement of a silicone breast implant. The device is an ingenious device that is so simple in concept and a wonderful addition to breast surgery.

I believe that there are many advantages to using the funnel:

– Shorter Incision Lengths
– No touch technique (I’ll get back to that)
– Less force on the implant during placement and thus less damage to implants
– Decreased risk of contamination
– Decreased risk of infection
– Shorter recovery due to less surgical trauma

A recent study in the February 2012 Aesthetic Surgery Journal confirms that the funnel significantly reduces skin contact and potential contamination. This is important in theory for several reasons including less infections as well as less capsular contracture. A major theory behind capsular contracture is bacterial contamination from the skin and thus avoiding the skin contact makes sense.

I attached a Video from my operating room. You can see in the video how easy it is to place a gel implant with the funnel. After the pocket is fully created in the standard fashion the funnel is used. The funnel protects the implant from ever touching the skin. You can see that I remove the implant from its box, put it in the funnel without handling it much, and place it directly in its new home under the muscle. The shape of the breast pocket has already been created and the final step is placing the implant. Shape is then confirmed and whatever adjustments may be needed are performed as usual.

Advantages include minimal pressure on the implant shell during placement and thus in my opinion less damage to the implant, smaller incisions and thus smaller scars, and less risk of contamination. I believe that less pressure and pocket manipulation during placement yields less swelling and less pain after surgery.

My own personal opinion is that this device should be used by every plastic surgeon for every breast operation. Why don’t all surgeons use it? Perhaps they don’t know about it as it has only been on the market for a few years. Perhaps they do not feel it is worth the approximately $100 pricetag per device as the device cannot be reused. Perhaps they do not feel that it is necessary. I do not know their reasons, but use it on every silicone augmentation I perform since the day I tried it.

If you have any questions, I would love to discuss them here so feel free to comment.