Ocular Prosthetic Services in Oklahoma
The loss or disfigurement of an eye can be a traumatic experience, emotionally as well as physically. A lifelike prosthetic eye or scleral cover shell can be crucial in helping a patient recover and return to their life with confidence. The Ocular Prosthetic service at the Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI) is here to help with compassion and understanding.
As the most experienced board-certified ocularist in the state, DMEI’s Nancy A. Lambert, BCO, is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality, individualized prosthetic eye service available. Her goal is to provide you with the most natural-looking prosthetic eye or scleral cover shell. Each prosthesis is custom made and fitted using the most advanced technology and artistic skill, and is designed for maximum comfort and movement.
When Do You Need an Ocular Prosthetic?
There are basically two types of ocular prosthetics: a prosthetic eye or a scleral cover shell. The scenarios indicating the use of one or the other are different.
People who have lost an eye due to disease or injury can benefit from receiving a prosthetic eye. Most commonly, patients come to us after undergoing enucleation surgery, in which the entire natural eye is removed. The process of fitting for a prosthetic eye can usually begin eight weeks after surgery.
The fitting begins with an ocularist taking an impression or mold of your eye socket. The ocularist will then hand paint the iris on a small black disc, duplicating the characteristics of the companion eye. A clear cornea is affixed to the disc to create the natural-looking, colored iris. A stone mold is made of the impression, creating the size and shape derived from the initial fitting and impression.
The prosthetic eye shape is processed incorporating the iris in white acrylic to duplicate the sclera. Then, the shape is trimmed down to expose the embedded iris and pupil. This outer area will be painted to look as natural and individualistic as possible, including veins and tint of sclera. The iris is given all of the fine details on this layer to give the color a 3D-effect, making it lifelike in appearance. Following this session of artwork, the prosthesis is given a clear coating to seal the paint and veins, giving the anterior the rounded shape of an eye.
The prosthetic fulfills two functions: to fill the space left by the removed eye (thus preserving the structural integrity of the eye socket and eyelids) and provide the appearance of a natural eye. An implant placed at the time of surgery, with muscles attached, allows the flush-fitting prosthesis to move in conjunction with the remaining natural eye. This creates a more realistic appearance.
Scleral Cover Shell
Sometimes an eye is disfigured but not otherwise diseased and thus does not need to be removed. In these situations, a scleral cover shell is an alternative.
A scleral cover shell is a thin prosthesis designed to be worn over a disfigured eye. It covers the entire sclera, or white part of the eye, as well as the iris and the pupil. The same individualized and artistic detail that goes into the creation of a prosthetic eye also goes into fabricating scleral cover shells. Since most patients retain the natural movement of their eye, this contributes to a scleral shell’s natural appearance.
Things You Should Know About Eye Prosthetics
Our board-certified ocularist is trained to manage each patient’s unique situation and needs. This includes personal in-clinic training on how to insert, remove, clean, and care for your prosthetic.
Most prosthetic eyes or scleral shells do not necessarily have to be removed nightly, but each patient’s situation is unique and you will be advised as to the recommended handling frequency.
Also, you will want to see your ocularist on a regular basis, usually semi-annually, to assess how your prosthesis is fitting. Over time, as your body changes, the fit of your prosthesis may change. This can necessitate the fabrication of a new prosthesis.
If at any point the prosthesis is causing irritation or discomfort, you should make an appointment with your ocularist for an evaluation.
Ocular Prosthetics at the Dean McGee Eye Institute
The Dean McGee Eye Institute ocular prosthetics team is led by Nancy Lambert, BCO, a board-certified ocularist with decades of experience in helping patients look and feel their best thanks to her precise skill and craftsmanship.
If you are interested in having a superior ocular prosthetic provided by our compassionate and caring team, call 405.271.3391 or 800.787.1090 to schedule your appointment today! We would be honored to provide you with the prosthetic care you need to restore your confidence and ensure a lifelike look and feel for your new eye.