The Maxillofacial Prosthetics Department is a specialist service based at the City Campus of The Royal Melbourne Hospital. The department provides custom made silicone prostheses that restore malformed, or absent parts of the facial anatomy.
Some of the prosthetic solutions include:
The central focal point on a person’s face, our prosthetics team create custom partial and full nose prostheses. This not only protects the underlying structures, but also blend in with the individual’s face. The prosthesis can be glued-on, attached to glasses or osseointegrated, where the nose is magnetically attached to implants in the facial bones.
Eyes and surrounding area (Orbital)
Orbital prostheses replace the eye and surrounding. The prosthetist works to capture the person’s natural gaze, add fine detail such as eyelashes, eyebrows and sculpt wrinkles to match the remaining eye. The prosthesis can be attached to either a pair of glasses or osseointegrated implants.
Before work commences with the prosthetist, a visit to the ocularist is arranged to have the acrylic eye custom made. This process is done in one visit where the ocularist fabricates the eyeball to match the patients remaining eye.
An ear prosthesis can help to create aesthetic symmetry and may also assist with hearing. Full or part ear designs are attached using glue or osseointegrated implants.
Facial, including nose and cheek (Hemifacial)
This type of prosthesis combines one or more facial features such as an eye, nose or cheek and can make up a substantial part of a person’s face. Multiple visits to the maxillofacial prosthetist may be required to ensure the prosthesis blends smoothly with natural features and creates a sense of symmetry. The prosthesis can be attached as a glue-on, attached to glasses or osseointegration implants.
How we work with our patients
The team works closely with each individual to find unique prosthetic solutions. Whether it’s adding each eyebrow hair one by one, customising flesh tones or adding freckles, attention to detail is key to creating a facial prosthesis that helps restore anatomy and anonymity.
The Maxillofacial Prosthetics department has been providing service to the public for more than half a century, refining its processes in newer materials and retention methods as technology continues to evolve.
The process of making a prosthesis involves several visits to the clinic. Complete healing is required, with no apparent swelling to begin the process. Healing after surgery or radiotherapy can take 3-6 months or longer depending on the individual.
How to access this service
You need a referral from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service.
What to bring
Every time you come to hospital
Every time you come to hospital for a test, day procedure, surgery or treatment, you should bring:
- Medicare card
- Health Care card (if you have one)
- Concession card (if you have one)
- Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
- Medications you are currently taking, including any that you have bought without a prescription
- X-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results you have which are related to your procedure
- Private health insurance card (if you want to use it)
- Aids (glasses, hearing aid, walking frame)
In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.