The face is the main area where epitheses are used when a surgical reconstruction by using the body´s own texture is not possible or wouldn´t lead to satisfying results – for instance after accidents, tumor operations or battlefield injuries. Besides, it is nearly impossible to replicate complicated structures such as the nose, eyelids or the ear in a lifelike way.
It is a craftsmanship to produce perfect epitheses and many production steps are necessary to do so – from the first cast via a wax pattern up to the completed silicone epithesis.
The life time of an epithesis is about two years because its daily use – insertion and removal - leaves marks. In the course of time the material grows pale under the influence of ultraviolet light and air pollution.
- The surgeon inserts one or more implants into the desired area of the bone. There are magnets on top of the implants and in the epithesis by means of which the artificial eye can be inserted and removed.
- Adhesives used for the skin are suitable for small epitheses; they last approximately for five hours.
- The artificial eye and the nose can also be fixed to glasses. However, as soon as the glasses are removed, the patient loses his/her epithesis.