17. Can I still have an open casket if I donate? Will the donation change what the mortician does?

Donation will not prevent having an open casket funeral. Also, it will it not significantly delay releasing the body to the funeral home, and it should not increase the cost of embalming.

In most cases, the donation will make no difference in the end result once the mortician prepares the body for viewing. The surgeons and other donation professionals will leave the body looking as normal as is possible under the circumstances. The incision made to remove the organs will be closed; if necessary for embalming, it may be re-opened and re-closed. If eyes are donated, prosthetic devices are used to give the closed eyelids the expected convex shape. If bone is donated, a prosthetic is inserted to replace the bone. The donation of heart valves and skin will make no difference in embalming or in the appearance of the body in an open casket.

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