PROSTHESIS CARE & MAINTENANCE

 

Made of durable, medical-grade silicone, prostheses will last several years with correct care and maintenance. These are recommended guidelines. Individual needs may vary.

Click on the PDF links to download your own copy of these instruction.

ADHESIVE RETAINED PROSTHESIS

 

 

Daily Care of Your Facial Prosthesis with Water-Based Adhesive

 

Preparing your skin and prosthesis:

  • Please wash and dry your hands and skin where your prosthesis is to be placed. 

  • Be sure your prosthesis is clean and oil-free by gently washing it with soap and water.

 

Applying adhesive to your prosthesis:

  • Shake the adhesive well before opening.

  • The adhesive is applied with a cotton tipped swab by evenly spreading a thin layer of adhesive along the outer edges of the back side of your prosthesis. Your adhesive will last longer if you dip the cotton tipped swab only once into the bottle–double dipping is not recommended.   

  • Allow the adhesive to dry until it turns clear. A hand-held hair dryer on low will accelerate drying.

  • If using a second coat, apply a second coat over the dry layer of adhesive.

  • You can enhance the adhesion by applying adhesive to your skin as well as to the margins of the prosthesis. 

  • Wetting the adhesive on the backside of the prosthesis with water after it has dried may ease placement. If water is used, be sure to allow some extra time for the water to evaporate/soak in before a final press along all edges.  

  • Using a mirror, press prosthesis firmly into place with even pressure.

  • Securely tighten lid on bottle to prevent evaporation and spills.

 

Removing and cleaning your prosthesis:

  • It is best to remove the prosthesis daily to keep your skin healthy and maintain proper hygiene of the prosthesis.

  • Once removed, gently roll the adhesive off your prosthesis with your fingertips or a cloth. Soaking the prosthesis in warm, soapy water for about 15 minutes may soften the glue and make it easier to remove.

  • Clean your prosthesis with a mild dish soap such as Dawn® and warm water. 

  • If you wear an orbital prosthesis, do not clean the plastic eye with alcohol.

  • Store your prosthesis in a non-airtight container in a safe place.

Cleaning your skin:

  • Remove adhesive from your skin by gently rolling it off.  

  • Residual adhesive can be removed with a moisturizing lotion or makeup remover. Moisturize your skin at night; but not in the morning before application of the prosthesis

  • Wash your face with your preferred cleansing product. 

  • Follow any instructions given to you by your physician and report any areas of inflammation or irritation.

What to avoid:

  • Please do not swim wearing your prosthesis. Salt water and chlorine cause the color to fade.

  • Please do not allow adhesive to freeze and do not store in refrigerator.

  • Please do not use soaps containing oils, lotions, or moisturizers on the prosthesis.

  • Please do not use solvents except those recommended by your anaplastologist to remove the adhesive. Rubbing alcohol is fine on occasion, but strong solvents can shorten the life of a prosthesis. 

  • Please avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, it will stain and yellow the prosthesis.

  • Please avoid prolonged direct exposure to sunlight, which can cause the color of the prosthesis to fade.

 

Adhesives can be purchased from Factor 2 at www.factor2.com or 1-800-332-8688. 

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IMPLANT RETAINED PROSTHESIS

 

Skin Care and Maintenance of Your Craniofacial Implants & Prosthesis

 

Positioning the prosthesis:

  • Wash and dry your hands before handling your prosthesis.

  • Be sure your prosthesis is clean and oil-free by gently washing it with soap and water.

  • Bring the prosthesis into position until the magnets align – you should hear a gentle clicking sound as the magnets engage. Pulling gently on the prosthesis will reconfirm if the prosthesis is properly engaged.

 

Blending the margins:

  • You may apply a thin layer of Aquaphor® or other non-medicated ointment under the thin margins to create a better seal and enhance the blend between skin and prosthesis.

  • Makeup can be used to blend the margins when needed. Be sure to wash the makeup off the prosthesis daily to protect the silicone from the alcohols and oils in the cosmetics.

 

Removing the prosthesis:

  • Grasp the prosthesis in the region that supports the implant components and gently pull. It may help to rotate the prosthesis as you pull to disengage the magnets.

  • It is best to remove the prosthesis daily to keep your skin healthy and maintain proper hygiene of the prosthesis.

 

Proper maintenance of the prosthesis:

  • Clean your prosthesis with a mild dish soap such as Dawn® and warm water.

  • Store your prosthesis in a non-airtight container in a safe place.

 

Care of tissue around the abutments:

  • Follow the directions of your physician as to the skincare routine around the abutments.

  • Cleaning around the abutments is critical to the long-term health of the implants. This can be done routinely in the shower, but if you notice debris around the abutments, you may use hydrogen peroxide applied with a cotton swab to gently break up and remove the debris.

  • Anytime you notice redness, swelling, or pain around the abutments, please remove your prosthesis and call your physician and anaplastologist.

  • If you notice the magnetic cap on your abutment coming loose, tighten it with your fingers and call your anaplastologist to arrange to have it tightened.

What to avoid:

  • Please do not swim wearing your prosthesis. Salt water and chlorine cause the color to fade.

  • Please do not use soaps containing oils, lotions, or moisturizers on the prosthesis.

  • Please do not use solvents except those recommended by your anaplastologist to clean the prosthesis. Rubbing alcohol is fine on occasion, but strong solvents can shorten the life of a prosthesis.

  • If you wear an orbital prosthesis, do not clean the plastic eye with rubbing alcohol.

  • Please avoid contact with cigarette smoke, which will stain and yellow the prosthesis.

  • Please avoid prolonged direct exposure to sunlight, which can cause the color of the prosthesis to fade.

 
OCULAR

 

 

Care and Maintenance of Your Ocular Prosthetic

 

Removing your prosthetic eye

If you are new to wearing a prosthetic eye, or you have had one for a while but don't remove it very often, then it is a good idea to remove your eye over a soft surface. This way if you lose control of the prosthesis it won't land on a hard surface and get chipped or scratched. An easy way to achieve this is to stand your mirror on a table and lay a towel on the tabletop in front of you. If you usually use a bathroom mirror while removing your eye, you can lay the towel in the sink.

 

To remove your prosthetic eye, start by carefully washing and drying your hands. Place a fingertip on your lower lid and gently ease it down and away from your nose. Keep your other hand ready to catch the prosthesis, as in most cases it will simply slip out and into your waiting hand. If the eye doesn't come out at first, gently apply a little upward pressure under the lower edge of the prosthesis. 

 

If this method fails to work for you, or you don't feel comfortable using your fingers, we can provide you with a small suction cup you can use instead. Run the suction cup under water to wet the tip, then while pinching the suction cup between your thumb and index finger, press the cup against the front of your prosthetic eye. When you have good contact you can relax the pinch and the cup should remain attached to the eye. You may find that you need to hold open your lids a little with your other hand to make things easier. Once the suction cup is firmly attached to the eye, you can gently lift it upwards and tilt backwards to release the lower edge from your lower eyelid, then carefully slide the eye downwards from under the upper eyelid.

 

Cleaning and care

As a general rule we recommend that you handle your new eye as little as possible, however as the eye settles into your socket you may experience some discomfort accompanied by some discharge. If this discharge begins to dry on the eye then it is wise to remove the eye and clean it to limit the build up and any potential irritation that may cause. If the discomfort and discharge fails to improve after 14 days please contact us.

 

It is important that you never use harsh solvents, cleaning chemicals, or abrasives, to clean your prosthetic eye. Although it is made from acrylic, the best approach to caring for your eye is to treat it like it is a part of your body, and only expose it to solutions and handling that you would be comfortable using on yourself. It is especially important to avoid exposing your ocular prosthesis to alcohol as this will damage the acrylic.

 

The easiest way to clean your prosthetic eye is to rub it between your fingers with a gentle soap, and then rinse it carefully in warm water. Dish soap will work, but many people prefer to use "no tears" baby shampoo as any residue that is not removed by rinsing will be less likely to cause irritation to your socket. If you need to get slightly more aggressive with stubborn surface deposits, rubbing with a wet paper towel can be effective. Do not rub with a dry paper towel. 

 

Since it is easy to drop your artificial eye when it is soapy, it is wise to ensure that the sink drain has a guard on it, or you insert the stopper, to prevent your eye from inadvertently becoming the property of the water company. 

 

After cleaning your prosthetic eye, place it on a clean towel while you gently wipe your lids and around your eye with a clean damp tissue to remove residue from dried tears or any fluid discharge that you may experience. There is usually no need to attempt to clean deeper in the socket, as this is usually flushed naturally as you shower or otherwise wash your face.

 

Re-inserting the prosthesis

To reinsert your prosthesis, first grip it between your thumb and index finger, then while gently lifting your upper lid with a finger of your other hand, slide the prosthetic eye up under the lid as far as it will go. While holding the prosthetic eye in that position, release the pressure on the upper lid and gently pull down on the lower lid to allow the bottom edge of the prosthesis to slip into place. 

 

On occasion it is possible for a prosthetic eye to turn as it is being inserted. If this happens it is not necessary to remove the eye again, instead simply place the tip of a finger on the surface of the eye and gently push it to rotate it into the correct position. Alternatively you can reattach the suction cup to the front of the eye and twist to achieve the correct orientation.

 

Other things to know

Once a year it is wise to return to Prosthetics at Graphica Medica to have your eye polished. This is useful to remove protein deposits that will build up on the surface of your eye despite your regular care, and can cause discomfort. Polishing also removes any small scratches that cause irritation, and gives your ocularist an opportunity to reassess the condition, fit, and color match as the prosthesis ages. Regular checkups will also allow your ocularist to recommend timely changes to your cleaning routine, or the prosthesis, as and when they may be required to keep your prosthesis in the best condition for as long as possible.

 

Occasionally you might experience dryness in the socket of your prosthetic eye, on these occasions you may use over-the-counter artificial tears, or contact lens lubricating solutions to improve your comfort. If the dry eye symptoms persist or begin to interfere with your day to day life, it might be time to get the eye polished by your ocularist, or make an appointment with your doctor.

 

If you have any questions about the care of your prosthetic eye, or would like additional suction cups, feel free to email or call Prosthetics at Graphica Medica at prosthetics@graphicamedica.com or 651-340-5594.