Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Your Silicone Prosthesis and It’s Care

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Sometime back, we were shown a brochure in the clinic entitled “Your Silicone Prosthesis and It’s Care.”  It was clearly made a long time ago, and it was put forth that maybe someone would take on re-doing this brochure.  I started to take on the project, but the scope of what was wanted changed, and it was decided to leave things as is for now.  Since I’d already put in the effort of rewriting it I wanted to go ahead and share those words here.  At some point I’d like to go ahead and finish with the design despite the change in plans at our own clinic and make it available as either a poster or downloadable brochure for anyone to use across any clinic.  In the meantime, this is just the content, and perhaps some of you reading will have suggestions about how to make it better before I move into the design aspect.

**note – The title “Your Silicone Prosthesis and Its Care” comes directly from the original brochure.**


Your Silicone Prosthesis and It’s Care

What is a silicone prosthesis?
A silicone prosthesis is a silicone replacement for a missing, underdeveloped, or disfigured body part.  Silicone itself is an inert synthetic compound.  It is used widely across a variety of industries including cookware, toys, and medicine.  We use it in anaplastology because of it’s flexibility, durability, lightweightness, and capacity for color blending and translucency.

How long can I expect my prosthesis to last?
Wear and tear on a prosthesis is to be expected.  Colors will change over time, silicone will tear, and the fit may even change, especially in growing children. In general, one can expect a silicone prosthesis to last one to three years.  This estimate is of course greatly impacted by the environment to which the prosthesis is exposed.

Contributing factors
There are a number of contributing factors to how quickly a prosthesis will degrade.  Sun exposure is one. As with most things, the sun can fade the coloring of your prosthesis.  Outdoor wear in general can be a problem if you are in particularly dusty or grimy places.  Smoke filled rooms are also problematic, as is smoking in general.  Over time the smoke will stain the prosthesis.  Around children or animals it is generally advised that you exercise caution in where you leave your prosthesis when you are not wearing it.

General Care
Attention to cleaning and storage (when you are not wearing it) of your prosthesis will help extend the amount of time between replacements.  Your prosthesis should be taken off every night before bed and washed by hand with mild soap and warm water..  When not in use, store your prosthesis away from heat and sunlight.  Avoid unnecessary handling, and airtight containers.

The Attachment Site
Whether your prosthesis is retained with adhesive, by implants, or anatomically, special care must be taken in cleaning the attachment site on the prosthesis as well as the skin around where the prosthesis sits.

An adhesive retained prosthesis requires careful removal of the adhesive from both the prosthesis and the supporting skin.

An implant-retained prosthesis requires careful cleaning around the metal of the prosthesis, and also the attachment site where it connects to you.  A solution of saline and hydrogen peroxide is advised for cleaning the skin around protruding abutments.

An anatomically retained prosthesis simply requires general cleaning of both the prosthesis and skin.

Regardless of the type of attachment, you should always pay attention to the surrounding skin and report any changes to your doctor or anaplastologist.  If you have any questions regarding proper care for your prosthesis please do not hesitate to ask your anaplastologist.

Written by Sara

October 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 am

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