According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in 2012 approximately 72% of breast augmentation patients in the U.S. chose to have silicone breast implants rather than saline. This represents a significant shift in patient and surgeon preference since the re-introduction of silicone implants for primary breast augmentation.
Today's fourth generation silicone implants have thicker more durable shells, more solid gel, and less leakage or bleed than earlier generation implants. These improvements are a result of improved manufacturing techniques, over thirty years of implant research, and better design. Together these advances have given patients and surgeons more comfort regarding the safety of silicone implants.
From a patient's perspective silicone implants feel more natural than saline implants. From a surgeon's perspective silicone implants have a lower risk of wrinkling and palpability in patients with little breast tissue to cover the implants.
Despite these advantages, silicone implants are pre-filled, requiring a larger incision to place a silicone implant in comparison to a saline implant. Placement also requires a significant amount of force to fit the implant into the breast. There is also potential for bacterial contamination of the implant during placement as the implant comes into contact with the patient's skin. Finally, to date most surgeons place silicone implants via an incision under the breast which is not always desirable to patients. The combination of the trans-axillary breast augmentation approach and the use of the Keller Funnel device is an important option for patients.
The Keller Funnel has played an increasingly important role in silicone breast augmentation since its introduction in 2009. This simple device facilitates the placement of silicone implants into the breast. It is a slippery, coated funnel-shaped device that represents a significant improvement in our approach to silicone breast augmentation.
The device allows the surgeon to place a silicone implant into the breast with 95% less force, a 50% reduction in potential contamination, and through a smaller incision. This represents a potential reduction in the risk of infection, painful capsular contracture and implant rupture.
The Keller Funnel can also facilitate the placement of silicone implants through either of the three most commonly used incisions including the fold under the breast, around the areola, or from the armpit.
If you are considering breast augmentation with silicone implants and are interested in the well-hidden armpit incision, ask about how the Keller Funnel and trans-axillary breast augmentation can be combined.