Breast augmentation surgery remains one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States. As millions of women seek out professional aesthetic alterations, plastic surgeons and medical researchers are continuously developing better technologies and techniques to make plastic surgery more effective and even safer for patients.
One such development has improved the breast augmentation procedure substantially: the Keller Funnel Method. The Keller Funnel is a device approved by the FDA to assist plastic surgeons in effectively placing silicone gel implants.
The Keller Funnel looks a lot like a cake decorating bag with a tip for extruding frosting. The surgeon uses the Keller Funnel by inserting the soft, narrow tip of the device into the incision. Holding the Keller Funnel steady, still inserted into the incision, a nurse places the implant into the Funnel, transferring it directly from the original packaging. The surgeon then places the pre-filled implant into the breast pocket by gently squeezing the device; the inside of the Funnel is coated in a slippery substance that allows the implant to slide into the pocket and the breast.
Click to view implant placement using the Keller Funnel by Dr. Gilbert Lee
There are five important benefits of using the Keller Funnel method in the breast augmentation procedure with silicone breast implants.
The doctor is able to make smaller incisions by using the Keller Funnel. This means that there are more options for placing incisions during a breast augmentation procedure. It also means smaller scars and an easier recovery with less pain.
Reduced Risk of Infection
The Keller Funnel allows the surgeon to use a no-touch sterile approach. Each Keller Funnel is used only once, for an insertion test and actual augmentation of both breasts. This minimizes the risk of implant shell contamination which causes infection.
The Keller Funnel also reduces the risk of capsular contracture. This is a common complication arising from breast augmentation surgery that occurs when scar tissue forms around the pocket holding the breast implant. Capsular contracture causes breast stiffness and puts patients at greater risk of implant rupture.
Although about five percent of breast augmentation patients experience capsular contracture, there is no way to predict who will be affected. The best way to avoid capsular contracture is to avoid bacterial contamination, which may be among the main causes of capsular contracture. Since the Keller Funnel replaces the doctor placing the implant into the pocket with the fingertips through the incision, it allows for “no touching” during insertion, minimizing bacterial contamination risk.
Using the Keller Funnel can also minimize trauma to the breast tissue. This makes for a quicker healing process, reducing post-operative pain.
Less Stressful to the Implant
The Keller Funnel is designed to minimize stress to the breast implant itself, which prolongs the implant’s lifespan and reduces the risk of the implant rupturing. The Keller Funnel’s slippery internal coating allows the surgeon to position and insert the implant with a minimal amount of pressure. In fact, research has proven that using the tool reduces the forces applied on an implant during breast enhancement surgery by 95 percent compared to the finger push method.
The implant is at lower risk of rupturing for the simple reason that less force is applied to them during insertion. This matters, because stress on the implant during insertion can eventually cause rupturing—even years later.
The Keller Funnel expedites the surgical procedure. Using digital insertion, a surgeon might need ten minutes to manipulate a silicone implant into place. The Keller Funnel turns that process into a brief few seconds, which means recovery and acclimation is far easier on patients.
Find Out More About the Keller Funnel Method in San Diego
If you’re curious about the Keller Funnel Method in San Diego, learn more about why it’s our preferred method of silicone breast implant placement here at Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa. Or come in for a consultation with Dr. Gilbert Lee, who is a certified Keller Funnel surgeon, to discuss the best options for you.