1.How long after surgery must you wait before receiving a prosthesis?
A: Depending on the extent of the surgery that you have had, it is recommended that patients wait approximately 6 months to ensure complete healing, and eliminate swelling prior to taking impressions. However, the authorization process can be started before your clinical appointments.
2. How long does it take to create a prosthesis?
A: Fabrication of custom silicone prosthesis is labor-intensive. Manufacturing time can range from 4-6 weeks for a finger, to 6-8 weeks for larger prostheses.
3. How do the prostheses stay on?
A: Most finger, hand, and foot prostheses are suspended by suction. When a suction suspension is not possible, a combination of other methods is used.
4. Can the prostheses be worn all the time?
A: Users do not wear their prostheses when bathing, sleeping, or during activities that will be more strenuous on the silicone prosthesis. This includes activities such as guitar playing, sports, construction, and auto maintenance. It is important to avoid oil-based products. Many hair and body products contain oils and should only be applied when not wearing the prosthesis.
5. Is it just a cosmetic prosthesis?
A: Absolutely not. The level of function varies with every prosthesis depending upon the type of device. All prostheses can perform non-manipulative activities, such as supporting, stabilizing, pushing, and pulling. Finger prostheses and most hands can be positioned for use during activities such as typing and playing the piano.
6. Do the fingers move?
A: This depends on the level of restoration. For example, if a finger prosthesis is made to replace the tip of a finger or fingers, they can easily move and perform tasks. If the fingers are missing completely, then the movement is limited. In some cases, an internal armature is inserted that can be bent into the desired position.
7. Can the color be changed or modified?
A: Once painted, the color of the prosthesis can be darkened, using our SeasonGuard product, the proprietary pigmented, which fades over time, as would a normal "tan". Clients are advised to have their prosthesis painted when they are not tanned. The color cannot be made lighter.
8. Can fingernails be shaped and painted?
A: Depending on which product you select, it is possible to provide the prosthesis with your preferred nail shape. If the nails are acrylic, you will be able to paint your nails. You must use a NON-ACETONE nail polish remover.
9. Can hair be incorporated into the prosthesis?
A: Yes, people with significant body hair can request DermaHair. Our custom matched, synthetic, non-removable hair can be incorporated into their prosthesis. The DermaHair is embedded within the top layer of the prosthetic, so it cannot fall out or fade away. This feature must be specified prior to the manufacturing process. There is an additional cost to have it included in the prosthesis.
10. Will the prosthesis stain?
A: The silicone used to make a prosthesis is virtually stain proof. However, since there are many new chemicals and products that have not been tested, caution must be exercised when coming into contact with these materials. Some products to avoid are blue Woolite, carbon paper, unwashed jeans, and certain leather tanning products.
11. How long does a prosthesis last?
A: The life expectancy of a prosthesis depends on how it is used and maintained. With proper care and normal use, the average lifespan is 2 to 4 years. If a duplicate prosthesis is purchased at the same time, this can help to prolong the life of both pieces - alternating use can help manage the wear on a device.
12. Is there a warranty?
A: Yes. Each prosthesis is covered by a 1-year repair or replacement warranty when proper and adequate care is given to the prosthesis. A 2-year repair and replacement warranty applies when a duplicate prosthetic device is provided at the same time, and the devices are worn alternately to avoid excessive wear. All higher-level prostheses such as below elbow or above the elbow are covered by a 1-year warranty.
13. What should I do if I tear or damage my prosthesis?
A: Never attempt to glue or repair the prosthesis yourself. Please call Bross and Associates before sending the prosthesis back for repair.
14. Are prostheses paid for by insurance?
A: Yes, in the United States, many insurance companies and Workers Compensation Boards pay for prostheses.