Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

The Keller Funnel – I love it, I use it, I wish I had invented it.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon blogs about a surgical device that she really, really, really loves. 

The Keller Funnel makes inserting silicone gel implants faster, gentler and cleaner. It may also decrease the chance of developing capsular contracture.

I was first introduced to the Keller Funnel in 2009 and have been using it with my silicone gel breast augmentations ever since.  It is a device that is elegantly simple, very easy to use and even, well, fun. 

 It looks and works like a pastry bag.  It has a coating on the inside that become lubricious  (isn’t that just a great word?) when wet.  The implant is placed directly from its package into the funnel without any touching, the tip of the funnel is inserted into the breast incision and firm but gentle pressure on the funnel propels the implant into position into the implant pocket.  Inserting gel implants through small incisions without the funnel involves a lot of pushing and squishing and squeezing and is frankly, sort of traumatic and a little messy.  And it’s hard on the surgeon’s hands.   The implant gets rubbed on the skin around the incision and this contact makes contamination of the implant possible.   And all of that squishing and squeezing could weaken the implant.   This, by the way, is not an issue with saline filled implants.  Those implants can be rolled up like a cigar and easily inserted through a small incision without skin contact or trauma to the implant or the surgeon’s hands.  

About a year ago, an article  was published reporting a study done at Emory University comparing the degree of skin contact and contamination of implants inserted with and without the Keller Funnel.  This study showed a much lower incidence of both skin contact and contamination in the implants that were inserted using the funnel.  This confirms what certainly makes sense.   

Why is this important?   Hardening of the scar tissue around breast implants, so called capsular contracture, is likely caused by a low grade infection around the breast implant.  Even when the skin has been carefully washed with a disinfectant, bacteria that cause this low grade infection can hide in pores and escape the disinfectant.  So it makes sense that less implant contact with the skin would lower the chance of a low grade infection and would lower the chance of capsular contracture.  That particular study has not yet been completed but I think the argument is so compelling that I use a Keller Funnel on all my gel implants.  

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: Breast Contouring, Breast Implants, Plastic Surgery, Stuff I love, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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