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Beyond the clinic: Helping to rebuild faces in India

Facial prosthetics are often needed by patients who as a result of an accident or injury, lose face and body parts, such as an ear, nose or eye. They are time-consuming to build and expensive to deliver.

Crucially this type of treatment is also not readily available in certain parts of the world where there is often the greatest need, including in Pune, India. This is where King’s students come in. As part of the 3-year Maxillofacial Prosthetic Rehabilitation, they take part in in a 20-day intensive teaching and practical session in Pune. They treat and fabricate a range of indwelling eyes, implant retained auricular and orbital prostheses for patients from all over Maharashtra and some as far away from the foothills of Nepal.

They also deliver treatments to correct congenital malformations such as microtia, cleft lip and palate, or tumours.  

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Delivered primarily online by King’s Academic Centre of Reconstructive Science, the course uses cutting-edge digital technology, led by world-leading experts.  This enables students to enhance their knowledge of prosthetic facial rehabilitation while continuing to practice. In addition to the online teaching, the course is uniquely supplemented by a “face to face” component delivered at Rangoonwala Dental College in Pune, India every March.

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“Our face to face course in Pune is another reminder that we must not forget to help the people who need it the most. In the two weeks in March, we were able to work as a team making positive changes in the lives of the patients that we treat,” said Naimesha Patel, Senior Lecturer in Maxillofacial Prosthetic Education.

“It is a rewarding and humbling experience. The patients that we treat are enormously grateful, giving you a whole new perspective of life and to know that your work can help in the health and well-being of a person.”

Seeing patients who would otherwise not have access to prosthetic treatment is humbling and is made possible due to King's affiliation with Rangoonwala Dental Hospital in Pune. – Third year Master’s student Rachel Proctor

"The provision of Maxillofacial devices for patients can mean that not only their aesthetic is restored but their quality of life is also improved.”

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In this story

Trevor Coward

Trevor Coward

Reader /Hon Consultant in Maxillofacial & Craniofacial Rehabilitation

Naimesha  Patel

Naimesha Patel

Senior Lecturer in Maxillofacial Prosthetic Education


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