Orbital Prosthetics

Orbital Prosthetics

An orbital prosthesis is used in the case of exenteration surgery. In exenteration, all contents of the patient's eye socket are removed to the bone of the orbit, in some cases. Skin grafting may then be used to close the wound. This procedure may be required for certain types of invasive cancers that threaten the patient’s life.

Exenteration surgery can leave the patient without an eye, eyelid, and possibly eyebrow. The result, while lifesaving, can be emotionally devastating to the patient. This type of surgery is the most difficult for which to make a prosthesis.

Step 1: A mold of the orbit is made using a molding agent. Once set, a backing of stone is applied to give the mold stability.

Step 2: A stone mold of the molding agent is made and becomes the working model.

Step 3: A base plate wax is used as a "holder" for the eye, and clay is used to form the lids.

Step 4: The eye is placed in the "shell" using clay. The eye must be in the correct gaze, meaning it must look straight ahead. This is crucial because the prosthesis will not move with the fellow eye.

Step 5: Once correct gaze has been established, the lid can be carved. The goal is correct contour and fullness.

Step 6: Primary color of the flesh tones is matched.

Step 7: A mold is made for processing the material.

Step 8: Once the mold is complete, the artificial eye is cast in the "flesh" material.

Step 9: The partially completed prosthesis is painted to match flesh tones and eye lashes. Eyebrows are placed if they are needed.

Step 10: The completed prosthesis is then ready for the patient.

Please email mbain@anderseneye.com for more information.

"...thank you for the time and effort you put into the orbital prosthetic that you made for my friend. As your first attempt at such a challenge, may I say you did a marvelous job. Your kindness toward her, your respect for what she was going through and your determination were the perfect combination."

- from a letter sent by a patient's friend.



Andersen Eye Associates proudly serves the Greater Saginaw region including Flint, Frankenmuth, Bay City, Midland, Bridgeport, Bad Axe, Mount Pleasant, and surrounding areas.

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