We make Custom Eye Prostheses, Corneoscleral Shell Eye Prostheses and Custom Conformers. We also polish ocular prostheses and make revisions to accommodate anatomical changes in an eye socket. We welcome anyone who has an eye made elsewhere to come for evaluations or polishes. We are able to offer services in anaplastology on a periodic basis.
The method of making prosthetic eyes we employ excludes the use of any glass or stock plastic eyes. Here is a brief outline explaining our way of custom fitting, coloring and fabricating each plastic artificial eye, by the modified impression method and the Iowa painting shell technique. This is not a painful procedure for the patient. The same method is used for corneoscleral shells over living eyes.
An impression of the shape and size of the space in the eye socket or the eye is made, using a creamy material, which sets up within 1 to 2 minutes to the consistency of the white of a hard-boiled egg. After it is removed from the eye socket, a two-piece mold is made around the impression with dental stone, a material very much like Plaster of Paris.
The impression is then removed and molten wax is poured into the mold. Allowed to cool and harden, this wax piece becomes a pattern for the artificial eye which will be changed as necessary in shape and size on the front surface and edges in order to improve its appearance in the patient's eye socket.
A plastic piece simulating a pupil, iris and cornea of a living eye is built into the wax pattern. It will be removed and replaced in different positions or "tilts" in the wax in order to give the proper effect of direction of gaze, vertical and horizontal position, prominence, and the proper opening of the eyelids. This part of the procedure usually takes several hours during which time the pattern will be tried into the eye socket many times and many changes will be made in it.
When all improvements possible have been made in the wax pattern, a new mold of dental stone in a bronze flask is made around it. The wax is removed from and the pupil-iris-cornea piece is placed back into the mold exactly where it had been in the wax pattern. A dough of white plastic (acrylic) is packed in place of the wax and processed by heat and pressure until it is cured and hardened. A layer of white plastic is then ground, filed and sanded off the front surface of the processed shape, to give us the plane on which we are going to paint. Then a painting shell of transparent plastic is made to replace the volume of the white plastic which had been ground off. The total two-piece form then will have been returned to the same size and shape as the final wax pattern.
A very detailed, life-like appearance of the artificial eye is achieved by the use of the Iowa painting shell technique which allows the prosthesis to be tried into the eye socket, where it is judged and removed for improvements. The color, value, position, and size of the iris, pupil and sclera are changed until the desired effect is reached. The blood vessel pattern is made of red cotton embroidery threads. This part of the process takes several hours, with many trials and many changes.
When the color is judged to be correct, the eye is returned to the mold. Transparent acrylic made the same size and shape as the painting shell is cured directly on the front surface of the prosthesis, to protect the color during polishing and wearing, and to fabricate all of the layers of the eye into one piece.
In order to avoid an unnecessarily early refitting or re-aligning of the eye, it is best to wait at least 8 to 10 weeks after any surgery before making the prosthesis, depending on the type of implant that has been placed.
We have a small, open clinic, and with the patient's permission, any family member or friend of the patient is welcome to accompany him or her during parts of, or the entire procedure. The average length of time for the fitting, coloring and fabricating of the eye prosthesis is 2 days. We need the patients to be present during the entire fitting and painting procedure, which is usually approximately ½ day, each of the days of their appointment. The other two half days it takes to make an eye are used in processing, polishing, etc. While most other ocularists take less time, a superior prosthesis in all respects can be produced by using this time-consuming, but thorough method.
Products We Sell
We carry ocular prosthetic lubricants and other items. If you have need of any of the following items, email us or call, and we will mail them to you. We accept all major credit cards, payment is due at time of order.
Sil-Ophtho Oil - Regular $15.00 ea
A most popular medium weight silicone oil.
Sil-Ophtho Oil - Heavy $15.00 ea
A heavier version of the oil which is good for
some people who cannot completely close their eye.
Strauss Oil $15.00 ea
A natural oil made of Aloe Vera, Vitamin E & Safflower Oil
Eye Patches (small, medium & large) $20.00 ea
Faux suede leather patches that are washable with Velcro band attachment
Suction Cups (silicone) $2.50 ea
Shipping is based on weight and covers our cost of postage and envelopes. (add the following to your order for shipping) *PLEASE NOTE: PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE*
Shipping: 1-3 bottles oil $3.00
We will ship your order Priority Mail or UPS at your request. Shipping process may vary, depending on the service requested at time of your order.