Patients information

Other frequently asked questions

What is Prosthetics? Anaplastology? Epithetics?

They are general terms to refer to the healthcare pathway which is responsible for the making of many artificial parts of the body, mainly involving the head and neck area.

What are the prostheses made of?

Most prostheses which replicate skin tissue are made in silicone, oral obturators and eyes are made in hard acrylic, nasal obturators in medical silicone.

What should I look for in getting my prosthesis?

It is recommended to have an appointment with a Maxillofacial Prosthetist and view a comprehensive portfolio of high quality photographs or/and demonstrations of clinical results before deciding to begin prosthetic treatment. This may help you to have a realistic view of not only the aesthetics (shape and colour) but also the functionality of the prostheses (fitting and different methods of retention) as well as to assess the standards of work in such department.

When can I start the prosthetic treatment?

As soon as the area to treat is healed and not inflamed.
If the prosthesis is to be retained by implants, it will take 6-12 months for them to be able to be placed and support the prosthesis.

How long is it going to take to have my prosthesis made?

Every type of work we make takes different amounts of laboratory time and numbers of appointments to be finished. At your initial appointment the Maxillofacial Prosthetist will be able to give you a more specific idea.

Do I have to take my prosthesis off and clean it?

It is advisable that prostheses that replicate skin tissue are removed every night and cleaned as well as the fitting area and not fitted until the following morning to avoid skin problems.

Where can I be treated?

You can be treated at the nearest NHS hospital that provides the type of treatment you require. Go to the clinics (LINK) section of the website.

Will I be reviewed after having been treated?

If you have been provided with a prosthesis, you will be reviewed periodically (minimum 6 months); some other treatments do not require further appointments.
Feel free to contact the maxillofacial prosthetics service if you feel you could benefit from a review.

How do I look after my prosthesis?
Every prosthesis should be delivered with full verbal and written explanation of use and care.

Will I require repairs or replacements?
Any prosthetic device will require repair/replacement at some point, but need of these services will depend on the type of prosthesis, individual use and wear habits.
Silicone prostheses usually last 18 months, but depending on how it is handled and the environment the patient is in, this may vary.

Will I be able to play sports?
Feel free to let us know the type of sport you are thinking of practising so we can inform you accordingly.
In general, any contact sports could lead to displacement of the prosthesis. If in doubt, it is advisable to remove the prosthesis during the participation of the sport.

What limitations should I expect?
With time, colour of the prosthesis may change: however, it is possible to add more colour on the surface to obtain a better result.

Is the procedure painful?
The procedure is usually pain free; however, if there is discomfort involved we will inform you before such part of the treatment.

Can I see photographs of similar patients?
We have photographs of patients that have given us their permission to use for teaching and in some cases to show other patients.

May I speak with a patient you have seen with a similar treatment?
Yes, we can arrange for you to meet patients to share their personal experience with you.

Can I see and feel an actual prosthesis?
Yes of course, most units have samples of the devices we make to help the patient have a better idea of the final result.

Can I have an allergic reaction to the prosthesis?
You may be allergic to components of your prosthesis, but these can usually be identified at your initial appointment by informing your Prosthetist of any allergies you may have. Components can be replaced for others you may not react to.

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