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Question of the week: what is a Keller funnel and why does it make breast augmentation surgery safer?

My friend has had a breast augmentation and said her plastic surgeon used a funnel to insert her implant and make her surgery safer.

Does Dr David Sharp use a funnel, and if so, how does it make the surgery safer – and does it cost extra?

- patient

Dr David Sharp, plastic surgeon in Brisbane, profile image

Dr Sharp:

It’s great to hear you are thinking about these factors before your breast augmentation surgery, as they are an important pre operative considerations.

The Keller Funnel is an implant delivery system for inserting breast implants into the surgical pockets; a clear funnel shaped tool that allows for easier insertion of the breast implants into the chest cavity without over-handling of the prosthesis.

The Keller funnel was a game-changer in breast augmentation, alleviating the need to insert breast implants by hand, and offering three key advantages:

Decreased breast implant contact

Being able to use additional anti-bacterial measures with a Keller funnel reduces the risk of breast augmentation complications. It offers less risk of damage to the breast implant during insertion, helping to minimise the risks of pre-insertion damage to the breast implant product by reducing the  need to manually handle the breast implant. Excessive manual handling of implants has been identified as a potential factor in the compromise of the implant shell, reducing the longevity of the implant.

Easier breast implant insertion

The Keller Funnel’s clear polymeric surface is also believed to help make it easier for the insertion (and potentially orientation) of some types of breast implants. The clear funnel allows for greater visibility of the breast implant at all stages of the implant insertion; assisting surgeons with breast implant placement for cosmetic and plastic surgery breast enlargement procedures. The funnel’s low friction coating allows smooth, texture, high profile, low profile, round and anatomical implants to be guided into their ideal position, rather than inserted solely by hand.

Smaller breast augmentation incision and scar

One end of the funnel is large (to allow the implant to be inserted) and the other end is where the implant is squeezed through; narrow enough to ensure the surgeon can make a smaller incision – meaning that we don’t have to make a large cut in the patient’s skin in order to insert the funnel and deliver the implant. This produces the shorter scar aspect of my breast augmentation technique.

I use the Keller funnel for breast augmentation procedures when deemed suitable for the patient, type of procedure and implant. Patients are not required to purchase the funnel separately as we stock them in all hospitals that I operate at – nor are patients charged extra for the funnel.

Macquarie University has pioneered the 14 Point Plan to help reduce some of the risks associated with breast implant surgery. You can read more about the plan here and specifically about the 14 Point Plan Pledge I have taken here.

We share one of the questions Dr Sharp has received from patients; to submit a question please email or use the form below.

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