WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A new reality TV show features the job of an anaplastologist.
- An anaplastologist uses art and science to construct prosthetics.
- The TV show is featured on TLC.
Allison Vest, the newest reality TV star, is always willing to provide a helping hand — or an eye, ear, or nose.
“Body Parts” is a new show that premieres Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on TLC. It features Vest, 42, an anaplastologist who uses science and art to construct prosthetics for persons with missing or damaged anatomy in her Texas-based clinic.
Vest says patients don’t know about them until they actually need them.
“I found out about anaplastology when I was immersed in my master’s program [at the University of Illinois at Chicago]. It was called biomedical visualization, and you could offshoot into the prosthetics part. I was an anthropology and art major. I [originally] wanted to reproduce artifacts for museums and things like that. But, that was boring.”
Vest is followed in each episode of “Body Parts” as she meets with several patients who need prosthetics for various reasons. For example, cancer-related nose loss has severely harmed the self-esteem of Vest’s patient Jay Jaszkowski, making him unable to date or socialize. Vest then crafts a lifelike prosthetic nose for him while disagreeing with him on how big or tiny it should be.
Ari Stojsik, a twenty-year-old lady with a malformed ear, seeks Vest’s assistance in creating a prosthetic ear with earrings. Victoria Mugo, a Vest patient, had her hands amputated after contracting septic walking pneumonia. She wants to be able to hold hands with her son and perform ordinary daily chores like picking up a fork with the help of prostheses. Daniel, a man with a severe facial deformity, has survived a horrific vehicle accident. Meghan, a 20-plus-year-old breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy, visits Vest to get prosthetic nipples.
Vest stated that the most challenging thing for her to design is the eyes.
“It’s what I call an orbital prosthesis. That includes the eyeball and the lids, because our eyes are moving so much. For me, it’s very challenging to get what we call a static gaze. Hands are very difficult, too. They’re just so large. Typically, I’m making ear and nose prosthetics. That’s a much more manageable size.”
Vest’s office, she claims, resembles a mad scientist’s laboratory with different prosthetic body parts hanging around the room.
Vest’s patients cry when they see themselves in the mirror with their new enhancements, as depicted in “Body Parts.”
“I am a person that wears my heart on my sleeve. I’m not good at holding back any emotions, so I’m generally joining them on any emotion they’re feeling,” Vest said. “I always realize that they’re happy tears.”
Source: New York Post