Vanderbilt researchers have developed a breast implant placement device that minimizes potential contaminants during surgery by requiring no contact between the surgeon and the implant during insertion.
Infection following breast implant surgery is the leading cause of morbidity for the procedure. Infection can also lead to capsular contracture in which abnormal scarring of the tissues surrounding the implant leads to pain and deformation of the implant. Unfortunately, existing insertion technologies still require contact with surgeon gloved hands during insertion or manipulation, as well as the patient’s skin, and are only designed for use with silicone implants. With over 500,000 breast implant surgeries occurring in the US each year between cosmetic and reconstructive patients, and no “non-contact” insertion device available for saline implants, there is a need for a new technology to further minimize the risk of contact and infections during breast implant surgery. The present technology aims to address this challenge.
The no-touch implant placement device created by Vanderbilt researchers was designed to significantly reduce contact between the implant and the patient’s skin during insertion, while also removing the need for the surgeon to contact the implant. With this device, the intent is to help the surgeon decrease infection rates, minimize capsular contracture, reduce implant rupture, and minimize surgeon hand fatigue, as they are all important patient safety considerations that stand to benefit from such a device.
During use, the implant placement device is set up so that one end is placed into the incision site. The rest of the device is draped over the surgical site in order to prevent contact between the patient’s skin and the implant. The implant is then placed straight from the packaging onto the device without coming into contact with the surgeon’s hand, and the position of the implant can be adjusted if necessary prior to insertion. The device is then tightened and the implant slides into the incision site. The device also importantly allows the surgeon to manipulate the implant after placement into the surgical pocket without touching the implant. All of this occurs without any contact between the implant, the patient’s skin, or the surgeon, thereby minimizing the potential for contamination and infection.
This technology can be used with both silicone and saline breast implants, in addition to other surgical implants.
Technology and IP Status
Continued prototype development and testing is ongoing, and a patent application has been filed.