FAQ

Will the prosthesis be covered by my insurance?

We welcome Medicare, Medi-Cal, HMO, as well as most other insurance companies.

How long must I wait to be fitted after having surgery?

Both ophthalmologists and ocularists agree that the socket must be given at least six to eight weeks to heal before a custom prosthesis can be made. As a special service, we do offer a custom fabricated conformer for recently operated patients. This temporary eye can be made a few days following surgery.

Is surgery involved?

No, we do not perform any surgical procedures.

Is it going to hurt?

The fitting process is essentially pain free. Some patients experience minor discomfort when an alginate impression is taken of the eye socket, but this process usually takes less than a minute.

What is the prosthesis made of?

The ocular prosthesis is made from a plastic material called poly(methyl methacrylate), or PMMA. It is more commonly known as acrylic. PMMA is light weight and does not shatter.

Patients who have their entire orbital contents removed (exenteration) will be fitted with an orbital prosthesis. The eye piece is made from PMMA, and the surrounding skin is made from medical grade silicone.

How long does it take to make?

The ocular prosthesis is made over three separate appointments—1. impression, 2. model, and 3. paint/delivery. The prosthesis can be delivered approximately two hours after the painting is complete. It is common for a new prosthesis to require small modifications in the folowing months. If necessary, adjustments can be made free of charge until one year after the initial delivery date.

The orbital prosthesis is made over three to four appointments—1. impression, 2. fitting evaluation/sculpting the orbital/painting the eye, 3. intrinsic painting, and 4. extrinsic painting. Each appointment can take up to several hours with the second appointment being the longest. The appointments are usually scheduled one week apart to allow time to prepare your prosthesis for the next step.

Will it look natural?

We strive to make your prosthesis look as natural as possible, and spare no effort to achieve the best possible result.

How long will the prosthesis last?

An ocular prosthesis made from acrylic will last many years, although the American Society of Ocularists recommends a replacement every five years due to soft tissue displacement in the orbit affecting the fit of the prosthetic eye. A poor fit can have detrimental effects to the socket, eyelids, implant, as well as movement and the patient's overall cosmetic appearance. In children, eyes are replaced more frequently due to growth.

Will my eye move?

The technology of replacing a natural eye with a prosthetic eye has advanced dramatically in recent years. When an eye is removed, the volume is replaced by an implant that is subsequently attached to the rectus muscles, causing it to track with the companion eye. Friction allows the prosthesis to move with the implant. An eye that fits over the implant poorly will not track well, and extensive trauma to the lid and socket may also adversely affect prosthetic motility. In certain cases, the option of pegging, or coupling from implant to prosthesis, may be available.

What is the maintenance involved? Do I need to remove the prosthesis for cleaning?

We recommend that the prosthesis be removed regularly and cleaned by hand. We will instruct you on how to do so during your appointment. It is also important to return to the ocularist’s office every six months to have it professionally cleaned, disinfected and polished.

Can it fall out? 

Except in extremely rare cases, properly fitted prosthetic eyes do not fall out.

Can I play sports? Will I be able to swim?

Any sport you feel comfortable playing is fine.  We recommend wearing eye protection while playing sports and goggles for swimming.

Should I wear eye protection? 

We recommend eyeglasses be worn at all time in order to protect your functioning eye.

Insurance

We welcome Medicare, Medi-Cal, HMO, as well as most other insurance companies.

Because of our unique specialization, we do not contract with most insurance companies. Although prosthetic eyes are a covered expense by insurance carriers, we are unable to determine how much a patient's plan will cover. We appreciate your patience in these matters and will do everything in our power to work with your insurance carrier.

Warranty

It is common for a new prosthesis to require small modifications in the following months. For this reason, in cases where a prosthesis is paid in full, we will make any necessary changes free of charge until one year from the initial delivery date.

Prosthesis Care

Videos

Eric M. Lindsey, BCO

A short video about how Eric became an ocularist and our business philosophy.

Patient Interviews

Three of our patients share their personal experience of getting an ocular prosthesis. Their ocular prostheses were hand crafted by Eric M. Lindsey, a Board Certified Ocularist.

Links

American Society of Ocularists
The American Society of Ocularists is an international, non-profit, professional and educational organization founded in 1957 by professionals specializing in the fabricating and fitting of custom-made ocular prosthetics (artificial eyes).

National Examining Board of Ocularists
The National Examining Board of Ocularists is an independent agency whose primary function is the assessment of competence of the ocularist who performs the variety of health care related functions encountered in the fitting and fabrication of ophthalmic prosthetics.

American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the largest national membership association of Eye M.D.s. Ophthalmologists are medical and osteopathic physicians who provide comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical and optical care.

International Anaplastology Association
The International Anaplastology Association, which began as the American Anaplastology Association, is the professional organization for specialists in prosthetic rehabilitation. The IAA emphasizes on the multidisciplinary approach and highly encourages teamwork between professionals from different fields to service the patients.