PurposeTo evaluate the use and safety of temporary, cosmetic, painted prostheses as an alternative to clear conformers immediately post removal of eye or socket surgery in children and adults.Patients and methodsA 2-year, two-centre, retrospective audit of 54 patients undergoing enucleation, evisceration, secondary implant or socket reconstruction receiving a temporary painted prosthesis as an alternative to clear conformers immediately post surgery. Patient questionnaire and review of clinical notes was conducted for all patients.ResultsWe reviewed 54 consecutive patients (22 females, 32 males, mean age 18.6 years, range 6 days to 82 years) who received cosmetic painted prostheses from January 2009 to December 2010. Procedures included: evisceration with primary implant (5), enucleation with primary implant (37), secondary implant (9), dermis fat graft (2) and fornix reconstruction with buccal graft (1). Complications included: pyogenic granuloma (2), mucous discharge (2) and exposure (2). All adults found their prosthesis comfortable, and no problems were reported by the parents of the children included in this study. In all, 46 patients (88% of respondents) returned to normal activities within 2 weeks. The temporary prosthesis fell out at least once in 25% of cases. In all, 90% of respondents expressed a definite preference towards the painted shell over a clear shell.ConclusionTemporary cosmetic painted prostheses placed immediately after removal of the eye or socket surgery are well tolerated and preferred to standard clear shells. Painted prostheses, matched to the contralateral iris are a valuable option in anophthalmic surgery as an alternative to traditional clear conformers.