Teddy Gets a New Ear

I collaborated with my fellow medical illustrator and anaplastologist, McKenzie Wampler on this patient education piece about Microtia. Microtia affects one in 6,000-12,000 children, resulting in variably severe hearing loss (sometimes accompanied by atresia, absence of the ear canal) and abnormal external ear development. It is more common in boys than girls. In microtia cases, a BAHA (bone-anchored hearing aid) is used to assist hearing. The external ear anatomy can affect self-esteem and so the external anatomy is usually normalized with surgery and/or prosthetics. Since patients are often children, we decided to create a piece (soon to be a series) where Teddy, a bear with microtia who has recently gotten implants for an implant-retained auricular prosthesis, gets his new ear put on by his human, a little boy with microtia who is playing anaplastologist. This is a work in progress but as a teaser, here’s a shot of Teddy, who I created in ZBrush. His chair was done in 3DS Max.

Here’s a picture of Teddy with his human, (created in ZBrush by McKenzie Wampler). The scene is still being set but you can appreciate the concept from here.

I love doing whimsical art that’s geared toward children and the child in all of us. When we learn like children we truly learn.

We hope this will empower affected children to understand themselves, their healthcare team, and the options available to them, while inspiring curiosity, engagement, and the confidence that their healthcare team are motivated by the same love and care for their wellbeing, that they would have for their special best friends – their teddy bears.

Enjoy 🙂

Facial Hair for an Orbital Prosthesis

Intrinsic & Extrinsically Colored Silicone, Orbital Prosthesis

When a prosthesis requires facial hair, anaplastologist will often use real hair. For brows especially, we try to use a sample of the patient’s hair, when available, or a donor’s. The best donor hair has a variety of thicknesses and colors in each sample allowing it to create the appropriate variability of color and texture we see in brows and lashes. For thick lashes or mustaches, we will often buy hair (real or synthetic) for application. Some anaplastologists may be or work with a wigmaker or hair specialist to make custom mustaches or wigs for patients that require them.