Is the Keller Funnel technique only useful in preventing long scars for a first time breast augmentation?

It has been said that using the Keller Funnel prevents long scars, among other benefits such as hygiene. If in the future, the implants need to be removed, will the incisions be longer? Is the funnel only beneficial (with regards to scars) for a first time Breast Augmentation?

Doctor Answers 14

Keller Funnel

The Keller funnel is not necessary but it does decrease the risk for contamination and damage to the implant and surrounding skin. It's the no-touch technique. I use it every time I'm inserting an implant regardless of the number of breast augmentations. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Keller Funnel For Revision Breast Surgery

This is a great question. The Keller funnel has become a very common part of my practice for several reasons.

One of the thoughts behind capsular contracture is that the implant has some small amount of bacteria on the implant that causes the body to have a reaction and form the capsular scar tissue.

I do believe that the funnel decreases the chance that the implant will have any contaminant on it. The funnel keeps the implant from ever touching the skin.

The other benefits of the Keller funnel is that you can place the implant through a much smaller incision than can be placed with the traditional method. The funnel also avoids unnecessary trauma to the implant or the skin. This is especially important when used for larger implants or through a trans-axillary augmentation.

For these reasons I typically use the Keller funnel for both primary augmentations and revision breast surgery.

Johnny Franco, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Keller Funnel

I think that the Keller Funnel is a very nice device that has a role in breast implant placement. I began using the funnel shortly after it came to market and my thinking about the use of the funnel has changed over time. My concern with the funnel has always been how much can the surgeon stress the silicone gel with the funnel. I tried to see if I could break a moderately cohesive (smooth round) implant with the funnel and I could; I tried to see if I could fracture highly cohesive gel with the funnel and I could do this also. I think the funnel has to be used judiciously in order to not damage the implant.

I think the most important use of the funnel is to minimize potential contamination of the implant when an areolar or axillary incision is used. I think the funnel should shield the implant from the breast or axillary tissue during insertion. Personally I now find little benefit to using the funnel when an inframammary incision is used.

Michael B. Tantillo, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Keller funnels benefits

The Keller funnel helps the surgeon place an implant through a smaller incision and with much less forces on the implant as opposed to the old method of pushing the implant through the incision with the surgeons fingers.  The funnel also keeps the implant from contact with the skin which may decrease the rate of infection and other issues.  If your implants need removal in the future, the same scar may be able to be used but the incision may need to be longer if a capsulectomy needs to be done.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Keller funnel breast augmentation

In general the Keller funnel allows for a smaller incision to place the implant, and depending on the surgeon taking them out in the future, this will depend on their technique but in most cases, the incision length should be roughly the same.  Not only does the funnel allow for a faster, gentler transfer of the implant, it also protects it from contamination and may reduce capsular contracture rates. My patients typically enjoy what are seemingly impossibly small incisions thanks to the Keller funnel.

Deborah Pan, MD
New Haven Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Keller Funnel

Thank you for your inquiry on breast augmentation and the Keller funnel.

The Keller funnel is used to get modern gel implants into the breast through standard breast incisions.
  • The modern gel implant is thicker and stiffer than the old ones, which went in easily through standard incisions of 4 cm in length. 
  • So the Keller funnel allows modern gel implants to slide in easily through these standard incisions, rather than a longer one. 
  • If the implant is removed, it will usually come out easily through the same incision but that depends in part for the reason it is being removed.
  • An additional benefit it that the implant goes in with a no-touch technique that reduces the risk (we think) of capsular contracture.
I hope this helps.

Best Wishes.


Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

The Keller funnel has many advantages during breast augmentation

The main benefit in my opinion of the Keller funnel is that a reduces the trauma to your incision during insertion of a silicon gel breast implant.  This can significantly improve your scar.  Next

When your implants are removed or revised your old scar will be excised and may be a very slight amount longer.

Keller Funnel Breast Augmentation

If you need a secondary breast procedure to remove implants that were originally placed with a Keller Funnel the incision does not necessarily need to be longer. The funnel is not only beneficial for a first time breast augmentation. 

Sanjiv Kayastha, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Keller Funnel

I use the Keller funnel for the placement of smooth walled gel devices. At most the incision length is 0.5 cm shorter. For shaped implants especially the more form stable gels implants from Allergan, the funnel makes it very difficult to pass the implant. Other potential benefits like no touch of the implant to the skin may fat outweigh the small incision decrease in size.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Keller Funnel Use in Breast Implant Surgery

Keller Funnel technique can be used in primary or secondary breast augmentation procedures. For secondary procedures, the existing scar is often used and usually is not made larger with a few exceptions (capsulectomy for example).

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.