This section contains answers to many of the questions that potential users of livingskin ask prior to being fitted with a prosthesis.
- How long after surgery must you wait before receiving a livingskin prosthesis?
- How long does it take to create a livingskin prosthesis?
- How do the prostheses stay on?
- Do I need to use the donning lubricant each time I use the prosthesis?
- Can the prostheses be worn all the time?
- Is it just a cosmetic prosthesis?
- Do the fingers move?
- Can the color be changed or modified?
- Can fingernails be shaped and painted?
- Can hair be incorporated into the prosthesis?
- Will the prosthesis stain?
- How long does a livingskin prosthesis last?
- Is there a warranty?
- What should I do if I tear or damage my prosthesis?
- Are livingskin prostheses paid for by insurance?
How long after surgery must you wait before receiving a livingskin prosthesis?
Depending on the extent of the surgery that you have had, it is recommended that patients wait approx 6 months to ensure complete healing, and eliminate swelling prior to taking impressions. However, the authorization process can be started before your clinical appointments.
How long does it take to create a livingskin prosthesis?
Fabrication of each custom silicone prosthesis is very labor-intensive. Manufacturing time can range from 4-5 weeks for a finger, to 6-8 weeks for larger prostheses.
How do the prostheses stay on?
Most livingskin finger, hand, and foot prostheses are suspended by suction. When suction suspension is not possible, a combination of other methods is used.
Do I need to use the donning lubricant each time I use the prosthesis?
Prostheses such as above and below elbow devices do not require the use of a lubricant.
Can the prostheses be worn all the time?
livingskin users do not wear their prostheses when bathing, sleeping, or during activities that will be more strenuous on the silicone prosthesis. This includes activities such as guitar playing, sports, construction and auto maintenance. It is important to avoid oil-based products. Many hair and body products contain oils and should only be applied when not wearing the prosthesis.
Is it just a cosmetic prosthesis?
Absolutely not. The level of function varies with each prosthesis depending upon the type of device. All livingskin prostheses can perform non-manipulative activities, such as supporting, stabilizing, pushing and pulling. Finger prostheses and most hands can be positioned for use during activities such as typing and playing the piano.
Do the fingers move?
This depends on the level of restoration. For example, if a
finger prosthesis is made to replace just the tip of a finger or
fingers, they can easily move and perform tasks. If the fingers are
missing completely, then movement is limited. In some cases, an
internal armature is inserted that can be bent into a desired
Can the color be changed or modified?
Once painted, the color of the prosthesis can be darkened, using
our SeasonGuard product, the proprietary pigmentizer, which fades
over time, as would a normal "tan". Customers are advised to have
their prosthesis painted when they are not tanned. The color cannot
be made lighter.
Can fingernails be shaped and painted?
Depending on which livingskin product you select, it may be possible to provide the prosthesis with your preferred nail shape. If the nails are acrylic, you will be able to paint your nails. You must use a NON-ACETONE nail polish remover.
Can hair be incorporated into the prosthesis?
Yes, people with significant body hair can request DermaHair. Our custom matched, synthetic, non-removable hair can be incorporated into their prosthesis. The DermaHair is embedded within the top layer of the livingskin, therefore it cannot fall out or fade away. This feature must be specified prior to the manufacturing process, and there is an additional cost to have it included in the prosthesis.
Will the prosthesis stain?
The silicone used to make a livingskin prosthesis is virtually stain proof. However, since there are many new chemicals and products that have not been tested, caution must be exercised when coming into contact with these materials. Some products to avoid are blue Woolite, carbon paper, unwashed jeans and certain leather tanning products.
How long does a livingskin prosthesis last?
The life expectancy of a livingskin prosthesis
depends on how it is used and maintained. With proper care and
normal use, the average lifespan is 2 to 4 years. If a duplicate
prosthesis is purchased at the same time, this can help to prolong
the life of both pieces - alternating use can help manage the wear
on a device.
Is there a warranty?
Yes, each livingskin prosthesis is covered by a
1-year repair or replacement warranty when proper and adequate care
is given to the prosthesis. A 2-year repair and replacement
warranty applies when a duplicate prosthetic device is provided at
the same time, and the devices are worn alternately to avoid
excessive wear. All higher-level prostheses such as below elbow,
above elbow and below knee, are covered by a 1-year warranty.
What should I do if I tear or damage my prosthesis?
Never attempt to glue or repair the prosthesis yourself. Please call your local practitioner before sending the prosthesis back for repair.
Are livingskin prostheses paid for by insurance?
Yes, in the United States, many insurance companies and Workers Compensation Boards pay for livingskin prostheses.