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Restoring Confidence with Lifelike Prosthetics

Restoring Confidence with Lifelike Prosthetics

State of the Art (Blog)

Anaplastologists Descend on Nashville – Part 2

In addition to the fantastic program at the International Anaplastology Association’s 27th annual educational conference in Nashville, Megan attended a pre-conference course. Advancements in Bone Anchored Facial Prosthetics in the Digital Age included a presentation by Dr. Anders Tjellström, who collaborated with Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark to pioneer the use of osseointegrated implants for attachment of bone anchored hearing aids and facial prosthetics. Dr. Tjellström has placed bone anchored implants in thousands of patients for attachment of Baha’s (bone anchored hearing aids) as well as facial prostheses. His work has advanced the field of facial prosthetics immeasurably.

During the pre-conference course, Megan learned more about the newest implant attachment technology for facial prosthetics. Cochlear’s Vistafix 3 system was designed to improve osseointegration and decrease soft tissue inflammation around abutments. Many of our patients wear auricular (ear), nasal (nose), and orbital (eye and eyelids) prostheses that are attached by magnets to implants.

Anaplastologists are not doctors, but many of us attend our patients’ surgeries for placement of implants for attachment of a prosthesis. We work with surgeons to find the ideal placement for implants so that the attachment system will be concealed within the contours of the prosthesis. During the pre-conference course, Megan had the chance to step into a surgeon’s shoes and practice placing implants in a model of a skull:

Vistafix Cochlear 3 system

Using the surgical drill to place implants in the floor of the nose for attachment of a nasal prosthesis.

Cochlear Vistafix 3 implants

Vistafix implants in place. It was tricky placing the implants at the correct angle with so little room for the handpiece.

The course also included workshops on digital surgical planning (using 3D models reconstructed from patient CT data to determine optimal placement of implants in bony anatomy) and 3D printing of surgical guides. The pre-conference course was a great kick-off for the rest of the conference!

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