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Entries in Roger Ebert (1)

Tuesday
Jan252011

Roger Ebert Back 'At the Movies' With Prosthetic Chin

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Renowned movie critic Roger Ebert returned to the small screen to talk about the big screen over the weekend in the new show, "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies" looking much different than he did the last time he gave one of his famous "thumbs up/thumbs down" ratings several years ago.

Ebert, who lost the lower part of his jaw and his voice box after complications from thyroid and salivary gland cancer, appeared in a segment at the end of the show with his new prosthetic chin and an artificial voice in place of what he lost.

A Scotland-based company, CereProc, reconstructed Ebert's voice using archived footage of him from his show "At the Movies." The company says there are realistic animated and emotional aspects to the voices it creates with its software.

Ebert's chin is a silicone prosthesis that is similar to dentures in that it's not meant to be worn all the time. Dr. David Reisberg, a maxillofacial prosthodontist at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, helped create Ebert's prosthetic chin.

"We wanted to design a prosthesis that would elevate his lower jaw or chin area," said Reisberg. "It wasn't so much because he wanted to look better, but he felt that other people would be more comfortable dealing with him."

The prosthesis rests on Ebert's shoulder blades and is almost like a collar, Reisberg said. Since he doesn't wear the chin every day, it's unlikely there will be any complications, which would be minor.

Reisberg said that reconstructive surgery is generally the best option, but Ebert suffered from complications from previous procedures. Reisberg couldn't elaborate on those problems because he wasn't involved in that part of Ebert's cancer treatment.

Surgeons say silicone implants and silicone prostheses are two options for facial reconstruction. Depending on the severity of the facial trauma or personal preference, patients may also opt to use their own tissue.

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ABC News Radio