Anaplastology

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Anaplastology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prosthetic restoration and rehabilitation of an absent, disfigured or malformed external body part. It is part art and part science. People who have lost or disfigured a body part can benefit from anaplastology, which offers silicone prostheses that can restore missing digits and limbs. They also can provide protection for sensitive areas.

People in need of anaplastology may not know what to expect, but the team at Westcoast Brace & Limb will walk them through the entire process. No matter if a person is recovering from a loss of limb due to an accident, illness or congenital cause, Westcoast’s anaplastology team can assist in making a person feel complete again.

After receiving a referral from a physician, the next step is for a patient to come to Westcoast to meet with an anaplastology technician for an evaluation. The evaluation is key to determining what type of silicone prosthetic device is right for the person. “We discuss how the limb was lost, if there is any pain, and does the patient need it for work or cosmetic reasons,” said Slawek Kozub, a Westcoast anaplastology technician. “We also want to know what the person wants out of the entire experience. Not just what they want out of the device.”

During the evaluation, the technician also takes photos and measurements of the affected limb. Once the evaluation is complete, Westcoast takes care of getting approval from the patient’s insurance. Insurance varies, but usually it will cover the medically necessary functional portion of the prosthesis, and in some cases the cosmetic portion as well.

Once insurance approval is received, the patient then comes in for the design process. Everything from start to finish is done on-site at Westcoast. “The design phase begins with plaster impressions of the affected limb as well as the corresponding sound side,” Kozub explained. “An impression of the sound side provides scale and measurements that help us make the silicone prosthesis look as natural as possible.”

Once the impressions are created, the technician gets to work in the lab to create a clear silicone prototype. The patient will wear the prototype on a daily basis to determine if it fits correctly and what the patient likes and dislikes about the device. “It’s important to get patient feedback before the final one is created,” Kozub added. “Once the patient is happy and comfortable with the fit of the prototype, then the final prosthesis is made.”

The artistic side to anaplastology really shows in the final prosthetic creation. Depending on insurance and the cost, patients can choose to have a basic silicone prosthesis or a high-realism device. “A basic one features no texture or details. Then there is a middle of the road device that may feature some detail and single pigment painting,” Kozub explained. “A high-realism device features detailed pigment, texture, color matching, an acrylic nail and much more.”

No matter what type of device is needed, Westcoast will provide patients with top of the line custom silicone restoration prosthetics that are completely individual to the patient. “Each prosthesis is fabricated according to the patient’s functional needs and lifestyle,” Kozub said. “Patients who come to Westcoast are treated with exceptional care and are provided with the tools to live independent lives.”

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