Deciding to undergo a breast augmentation procedure is a big step in a woman’s life. While each woman’s reasons for opting to have the procedure vary, the decision about which method is best should come down to a discussion between the patient and a cosmetic surgeon she trusts.
One option some women are choosing today is the Keller Funnel technique. According to the Keller Funnel’s website, this procedure was introduced to cosmetic surgeons in 2009 — shortly after silicone breast implants were reintroduced to the market.
The funnel was designed to allow surgeons to use a gentler approach to completing breast augmentation procedures with silicone/gel implants.
What Is the Keller Funnel?
The Keller Funnel was designed to be a one-time use product — meaning it is only used on one patient and not recycled for additional surgeries. It is made of nylon and is coated with a special liquid that, when combined with saline, creates a hydrophilic coating. The coating is designed to help ease the passage of the implant into the surgical pocket.
The device is approved for pectoral and gluteal implants, as well as for breast augmentation procedures.
How Does It Work?
Surgeons who opt to use the Keller Funnel technique may report that patients have less impact on tissue surrounding the implant and they can perform the procedure through smaller incisions.
Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, a spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, explains that the funnel works “like a baker’s funnel with frosting.”
The surgeon uses the Keller Funnel — which actually resembles a funnel — to pour the implant into the surgical pocket. The funnel is trimmed to the popular size and volume of the implant, so it can be customized to patient needs.
“The funnel works like it is advertised,” Dr. Gryskiewicz says, adding that it may be especially beneficial to surgeons who have difficulty placing the implants manually and while still minimizing the damage to surrounding tissues.
Advantages of the Keller Funnel Technique
The Keller Funnel website claims several advantages to using this technique in breast augmentation surgery. Those include:
- Shorter incision lengths
- No-touch technique
- More choices for incision placement
- Reduced force on the implant and incision
Should You Ask for the Funnel?
If you have questions about the Keller Funnel technique, discuss them with your cosmetic surgeon. He will be able to guide you toward the surgical technique that will work best with your age, body, overall health and expectations of the procedure.
Additionally, patients should consider added expenses that can come with the Keller Funnel technique.
“Using the (Keller Funnel) can be costly, especially in areas of the country where pricing on cosmetic surgery is very competitive,” says Alan Matarasso, MD, FACS, another spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Ultimately, the decision about which approach to use during a breast augmentation procedure is one that should be made by the surgeon and patient after carefully weighing all of the available options and deciding which will provide the best results.