04 Mar

Julia Tipling's Story: High-Definition Silicone

Julia Tipling's Story: High-Definition Silicone Julia Tipling's Story: High-Definition Silicone Julia Tipling's Story: High-Definition Silicone Julia Tipling's Story: High-Definition Silicone
The story
As a congenital amputee, from a young age Julia rarely used any form of prostheses as their basic functions were of little advantage to her. However as upper limb prosthetic development has advanced, she began to see the benefits of various devices. As a keen horse rider she needed a prosthesis to help her ride and also carry out the day-to-day tasks at the stables. She sought the help of Seacroft Rehabilitation Centre where her prosthetist Asad prescribed her a split hook. The success of the device encouraged her to consider what could be available for her upcoming wedding day.

After trying on her wedding dress, Julia knew she was after something with a hyper-realistic look and authentic finish to compliment the dress. Keen to find a replacement for her old cosmetic hand which lacked the bespoke touches she was looking for, she discussed her options with Asad and he prescribed her a custom silicone arm.

The solution
The process of creating Julia’s custom silicone arm began with the Spectromatch camera, which has 22,000 colours stored to offer a superior matching process as opposed to traditional swatches. Asad used this to electronically measure her arm’s skin tone, and created a near-perfect colour match in a matter of minutes. By measuring the colour of different parts of her arm, this provided the silicone technicians an accurate representation of the tones and skin pigmentation found in areas such as the wrist and inner elbow.

This was followed by a cast being taken of Julia’s arm to acquire accurate finger shape and dimensions to be replicated. Details such as freckles, veins and hairs were discussed as to whether she wanted to incorporate them, and final measurements taken to provide technicians as much information as possible. After a final review of the arm shape, Julia was happy to proceed with the cosmesis.

The fabrication technique for custom silicone at the Steeper Silicone Clinic is unlike similar products, as the technique involves colouring the silicone material prior to sculpting, as opposed to surface painting. This process allows the layering of different shades of silicone to give a translucent finish, achieving an effect similar to skin which patients’ such as Julia desire. Our skilled technicians were able to replicate the exact tone of Julia’s skin, including the even tan she would have on her wedding day.

The turning point
Upon delivery of her custom silicone arm Julia was thrilled by the realistic features and overall appearance, and was even more excited for her big day. The Silicone Clinic had sculpted a cosmesis matching her skin colour perfectly, and even finished it off with the perfect French manicure.

Julia’s wedding day was a beautiful celebration of love and commitment, and with all eyes on her, Julia walked down the aisle with confidence with her custom silicone arm.

To find out more about custom silicone, click here.

Julia's Case Study