An Ocularist is someone who specializes in the fabrication and fitting of ocular prostheses (commonly referred to as a “glass” eye, plastic eye, or artificial eye). The need for an artificial eye usually stems from birth defects, disease, or trauma. An artificial eye should be custom made for the individual patient – in the past, some people received “stock” eyes, or “modified” stock eyes. These were off the shelf products that typically did more harm than good, and are currently frowned upon within the medical community.
After removal of the eye, an artificial eye can be fabricated about eight weeks later. An artificial eye will need to be replaced periodically – on average, every 3-5 years – children, more often. Yearly maintenance of an artificial eye includes polishing, and sometimes adjustments as necessary. Sometimes, reconstructive surgery may be needed to accommodate changes in the socket.
An Anaplastologist is someone with a skill set that often includes ocularistry as well as a skill set that includes the fabrication of other body parts – usually, facial, but may include breasts, fingers, and toes, or other parts as requested by the patient’s physician.
Certification in the field of anaplastology is provided by the Board for Certification in Clinical Anaplastology (BCCA). Professionals certified by the BCCA are designated as Certified Clinical Anaplastologists and denote their credential with the CCA title.