Suits you, sir: The ultra-realistic prosthetics helping rebuild patients' lives after illness or accidents
Experts at the Royal Truro Hospital make 9,000 fake body parts a yearRecipients include facial trauma victims injured after fires, cancers and throat operationsDoctors sculpt each feature in wax and mould into latex noses, teeth or earsThen make sure each one is a perfect match for the patient's skin tone

By
Anna Hodgekiss

PUBLISHED:

13:16 GMT, 31 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 31 January 2013

These bizarrre images of eyes, ears and noses look like a film make-up department – but are a behind-the-scenes peek at a hospital prosthetic unit.

The eerily lifelike features are some of 9,000 fake body parts made every year by a team working to rebuild damaged and disfigured faces.

They are built to look as real as possible by the maxillofacial team at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

One of the ultra-realistic prosthetics made by doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Truro

One of the ultra-realistic prosthetics made by doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Truro

The eerily lifelike features are some of 9,000 fake body parts made every year by a team working to rebuild damaged and disfigured faces

The eerily lifelike features are some of 9,000 fake body parts made every year by a team working to rebuild damaged and disfigured faces

Experts there painstakingly sculpt each feature in wax then mould them into latex noses, teeth or ears and make sure each one is a perfect match for the patient's skin tone.

Recipients include facial trauma victims left with devastating injuries from fights, fires, cancers and throat operations.

Among the more unusual items created was a set of eyelid weights made of gold that helped a patient with nerve damage finally close her eyes.

The department also helps improve the lives of people involved in fights, fires, accidents and sports injuries.

The medics painstakingly sculpt each feature in wax then mould them into latex noses, teeth or ears and make sure each one is a perfect match for the patient's skin tone

The medics painstakingly sculpt each feature in wax then mould them into latex noses, teeth or ears and make sure each one is a perfect match for the patient's skin tone

Recipients include facial trauma victims left with devastating injuries from fights, fires, cancers and throat operations

Recipients include facial trauma victims left with devastating injuries from fights, fires, cancers and throat operations

Staff also make orthodontic appliances, full and partial
dentures, crowns and splints. Some are worn to reduce scarring
caused by ear piercings and burns, others are finger and toe splints for sports
injuries and trauma splints for people who have suffered breaks.

They are even able to help people suffering from sleep apnoea, which
causes snoring.

Philip Brewer, an advanced technologist at the hospital, said: 'The devices can have a huge impact on
their lives, not just improving the snoring problem but perhaps saving
marriages.'

He added that many of the patients who have had oral cancers can be left with problems eating and talking.

Every year the specialist department makes about 9,000 models for patients who have lost part of their face as a result

Every year the specialist department makes about 9,000 models for patients who have lost part of their face as a result

'We live in a visual society and so
we are able to make eyes and sculpture faces out of wax before
conversion to silicone coloured to match their existing features.

'It gives them back their face and
their confidence. Some have substantial amounts of tissue removed and we
can make complex devices to help them with this.'

'Then there are those who have had orbital cancers and have lost an eye and sometimes half of their face.

'The devices can have a huge impact on their lives. We help to design things that make people's lives better.'