Healthcare science staff working in this field specialise in the prosthetic reconstruction and therapeutic management of the patient. They design, construct and apply custom-made medical devices such as realistic prostheses, intra-oral prosthetics, therapeutic splints, implantable devices and titanium skull plates. Such treatment could be required for a variety of reasons, such as malformation from birth, the effects of a disease such as cancer, or as a result of trauma (mainly to the jaw, face or skull). Typically, staff work in a maxillofacial or plastic surgery department within an NHS hospital.
Staff in reconstructive science will be involved in:
- meeting patients for assessment and advice, taking an impression of the patient and booking subsequent appointments
- attending the operating theatre to give advice on the positioning of any implants for the fixation of the prosthesis
- follow-up appointments, designing and sculpting a device for the patient using wax, acrylic or clay; try-on and colour-match; fitting the device
- ongoing monitoring and review of the patient and device
- giving advice to other clinical colleagues in emergency cases – such as constructing special splints to be used in theatre for a patient who has been in a car accident or suffered other facial trauma