Alison Dunne -
Keller Funnel for Breast Implants
By Alison Dunne, RN Div 1 & Operating Theatre Coordinator -
In May this year, Howard Webster and I attended the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS) in Vancouver, Canada. Visiting the trade show at these conferences is always a good opportunity to see the latest equipment available for cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures. One item which caught our attention was the Keller FunnelTM.
Launched in the United States in 2009 and FDA approved, the Keller Funnel looks like a piping bag for cake decorating. But in this instance, it’s a sterile device for ‘piping’ or delivering gel implants through a narrow incision into the breast pocket. The funnel compresses the breast implant into an elongated shape assisting with the implant placement. There are a number of benefits given by the manufacturer. Of these, what appealed to us the most is the:
- ease of placement – the funnel delivers the implant through a smaller incision in the breast pocket, reducing the stress on the patient’s body and stress on the implant which may cause failure; and
- no-touch technique – the surgeon does not need to manipulate the sterile implant into the breast pocket, further reducing the risk of infection.
For many years our standard insertion protocol has been to place sterile plastic contact drapes over the incision, and use a “no tissue touch” technique of implant insertion, where we change drapes, gloves and instruments after antiseptic pocket lavage so that anything in contact with the implant is completely sterile. This has enabled the implant to be pushed in through a small incision with minimal skin contact and therefore minimal contamination risk. This has worked well for our practice for over 15 years. However, with the recent research implication of low grade bacterial contamination in the formation of capsular contracture, we were searching for a method of completely eliminating skin contact whilst keeping our incisions as small as possible.
We only consider new equipment or modify our procedures if there are obvious medical, aesthetic and cost benefits to the patient. Until recently, the Funnel wasn’t approved for use in Australia, so we weren’t able to trial the device immediately. I am happy to report that we have now been using the Funnel for breast implant procedures for a month – and it works well. We have subsequently modified our breast implant protocol to replace our previous insertion technique. The Keller Funnel allows us to place a breast implant gently into position with a small incision, absolutely no skin contact and minimal implant deformation on insertion. It is a real advance in breast implant surgery, safety and quality.
For further information visit http://www.kellerfunnel.com/patients
Photo Credits: © 2011 Keller Medical, Inc