STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: Loss of a part of the face or having a congenitally missing ear, nose, or eye is likely to have both a social and a psychologic impact on those affected. The nature and extent of this impact has not been explored previously. The provision of facial prostheses is an increasingly viable and beneficial treatment option, but the psychologic and social adjustment to the prosthesis has not been described. PURPOSE: This study performed a preliminary investigation of patients' responses to loss of part of the face, and their perceptions of the prosthetic restoration of their missing facial part. METHODS: Nine individuals who had experienced prosthetic replacement of an ear, nose, or eye were interviewed. Interviews were semistructured, each respondent was interviewed individually and the interviewer followed a predetermined interview schedule. Themes emerging in the interviews were identified. RESULTS: The main themes relating to the loss of the facial part were the importance of the story of the loss, coping through bargaining, and the impact of the loss on relationships. The important themes identified in regard to the prosthesis were issues in the maintenance of the prosthesis and the reactions of other people to the prosthesis. CONCLUSION: Loss of part of the face requires great adjustment. The reactions of other people were marked. Provision of a facial prosthesis can assist in the process of adjustment.