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What makes a good prosthesis?

The most important factor is how the prosthesis makes the wearer feel. Does the prosthesis fit well and look good? What does "look good", really mean? To me, it means the prosthesis looks natural; it blends in with the body in a natural way. People tend to notice an absence or hole in the body contour. A good prosthesis should fill the gap, restoring the anatomy so that the body contour is smooth. Consider how the wearer moves while wearing their prosthesis. Are they moving in a fluid way or are they contorting the body unnaturally? Does the prosthesis help the wearer perform functions closer to their pre-injury way of functioning? Whether the color of the prosthesis matches the skin tone or has a bold design, it should look like it belongs to the wearer and whether obvious or not, it should reflect the wearer's personality. These are all factors that a prosthetist or anaplastologist will consider when creating a prosthesis for someone. Working closely together is satisfying and rewarding for both the client and the prosthetist. The end result is a functional, well fitting prosthesis that enhances the wearer's life.

A colleague of mine has a new show on TLC called Body Parts. This show explores the special relationship between Allison Vest, a clinical anaplastologist and her patients. "Body Parts", highlights how access to custom body prosthetics can change how they feel about themselves.

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