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Specialist profile: Robert Whitehead and Artizan Medical

Posted: 13 April 2014

Specialist profile: Robert Whitehead and Artizan Medical

We have a number of visiting specialists who teach introductory classes in their subjects to our 7-week course students. They are all extremely accomplished practitioners in areas that share technical skills with screen prosthetics, are used within the field or to complement prosthetics and make-up FX for film and TV.

One of our regular specialists is Robert Whitehead, an independent maxillofacial and oral prosthetist (treating diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck) and camouflage make-up artist. With over 20 years experience of maxillofacial & oral surgery laboratory work for clinical prosthetics procedures, Robert is very well known within this highly specialised and important field.

His company Artizan Medical design and manufacture prostheses for facial and body defects. They specialise in soft tissue appliances, often using 3d scanning and printing techniques to create highly accurate designs. Robert is a member of the Institute of Maxillofacial Prosthetists and Technologists, the General Dental Council and the British Association of Skin Camouflage. He brings us a wealth of knowledge about the technical processes and materials that overlap with screen prosthetics, for example making realistic prosthetic eyes, matching skin tones and skin painting and finishing techniques. As well as presenting this technical information, Robert’s sessions are also valuable in giving students a perspective on the essential role of prosthetics in clinical rehabilitation.

Working extensively for the NHS as well as privately, he has made a significant contribution to his field including the development of bespoke keloid splints for ear scarring rehabilitation, and the pioneering of a new silicone scar filler that can be used by patients. His work also focuses on plastics, ENT and breast care, and encompasses soft tissue melanoma contour defects, implant retained facial prosthesis, the creation of finger prostheses and indwelling eyes. Robert has also lectured widely on various topics relating to maxillofacial and body prosthetics.

The image above shows a recent ear prosthesis Robert created for an NHS patient; from 3d scan and print, a wax copy used for accurate modelling on the patient to the finished piece. The images below show further case studies of his work on a severe orbital defect, custom made vacuum-retained finger prostheses, a pigmented camouflage cream application, a prosthetic piece designed to cover trauma injury scarring to a patient's leg and also Robert teaching for us at Gorton Studio with the last group of Make-Up FX and Prosthetics Creation students. See more of his extraordinary work here.

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