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Our head and neck maxillofacial prosthetics laboratory provides bespoke prostheses and splints for defects and injuries to the head and neck. These are usually required as a result of ablative surgery, injury or congenital problems.

A prosthesis can be used to restore function to a part of the body and to help improve cosmetic appearance to increase confidence.

Conditions and treatments

We treat head and neck injuries, post-ablative tumour resection defects and congenital defects by providing bespoke prostheses for indwelling eyes, orbitals, ears, nose or combinations.

Our laboratory can also produce non-weight-bearing body prosthetics, such as fingers, part hand, nipple, part breast, leg contour or infill prostheses.

Construction of the prosthesis or splint is performed in a clinical laboratory setting.

Patients will usually have to attend a number of appointments, including the following:

  • assessment of required prosthesis and tissues of fitting area
  • impressions of the area to carry the prosthesis/splint
  • mock-up and try-on of prosthesis, usually in wax, to be altered accordingly
  • colour matching of materials to patient’s tissues
  • packing of mould in patient's presence to locate specified colour
  • fitting of the prosthesis
  • reviews and adjustments of the prosthesis

Additional information

This is a very specialised service with a high reputation, often providing specialist prosthetics to patients from around the UK and abroad.


In general a silicone facial prosthesis or small body prostheses will often require replacement every 12 to 18 months due to perishing material. However, if you have ongoing health changes, or have had recent surgery, this may affect the fit of the prosthesis, requiring replacement prostheses. A written referral from the GP will be required.

Artificial eyes in a paediatric patient should be replaced annually, in an adult every five to seven years. Ongoing tissue changes or recent surgery may also require replacement prostheses. The indwelling eye prosthesis requires regular maintenance which varies from patient to patient according to general health and age, previous eye conditions, and could span from every four to 12 months.

For any replacement prosthesis a written referral from the GP will be required.

Obturator patients must be referred to the appropriate Trust medical team and will work in conjunction with the head and neck maxillofacial laboratory.

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