Vitiligo Surgery Service

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Vitiligo Surgery

Vitiligo is a disorder of pigmentation, where the patient develops irregular white patches over the skin. Vitiligo can affect any area of the body. There is total loss of melanin pigment on the affected area.

In vitiligo, the melanocytes, cells which form melanin pigment in the skin, are either destroyed or they stop functioning

The exact cause of vitiligo is still unknown. It can be associated with autoimmune, neural, genetic, oxidative stress or viral causes.

The approach to treatment in vitiligo is determined by its nature, whether is it progressive or stable.

SPARSH provides facility for Narrowband UVB phototherapy, a first line treatment for progressive vitiligo. In case of stable vitiligo, surgical therapy by autologous transplantation of healthy melanocytes in depigmented areas, is done at SPARSH by experienced doctors.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are different types of treatments available for Vitiligo?

    Treatments for vitiligo can be divided into 3 types
    Medical: Using topical and oral medications. It can be used in both stable and progressive vitiligo. Response obtained by medical therapy is slow. However, it is the only option for stabilizing the fast-spreading vitiligo.

    Light based: PUVA and NB-UVB phototherapy for localised or extensive lesions

    Surgical: It is a good option for patients with localised vitiligo lesions which are cosmetically disfiguring and resistant to medical treatment. It can be done only in stable vitiligo cases (not increasing or spreading for 6 months).

  • What are the types of Vitiligo surgery?

    Complete skin transfer: By suction blister grafting/ punch grafting.

    Cell transplantation: By cultured melanocyte suspension transplant, or non- cultured melanocyte suspension transplant, or LA-PEEST (laser assisted PRP enriched epidermal suspension transplant).

  • What are the results of Vitiligo surgery?

    Autologous melanocyte transplantation will give you complete 100% re- pigmentation of the skin in 75-85% of patients.

  • What types of Vitiligo patches can be treated by surgery?

    Stable vitiligo patches, not increasing or spreading for past 6 months are can be treated with surgery. It can be successfully performed on patients with localised or even involvement of a large body area. Delicate parts like upper eyelids, underarms, lips and groins can also be treated.

  • Is the procedure painful?

    No, the procedure is done under local anaesthesia.

  • How long does Vitiligo surgery take?

    The duration of the surgery depends on the size of area being treated. It usually takes 2-3 hours

  • What are the post-surgery precautions I need to take?

    The dressing is done post-surgery at both the donor and recipient site. Donor site dressing is continued for about 10 days for total recovery of the donor area. At recipient site dressing is made open in 3-4 days. If recipient site is near joints, it is immobilized for 2-3 days for proper merging of the graft.

  • When do I expect the results after vitiligo surgery?

    The earliest pigmentation starts within 2 weeks of the surgery. The significant re- pigmentation develops in 3-4 months.

  • Are there any side effects of Vitiligo surgery treatment?

    Autologous melanocyte transplantation is very safe and effective treatment for stable vitiligo. It has no significant side effects, provided it is done by fully trained and expert Dermatologist taking strict aseptic precautions.

Dr. Milap Jolapara
founder of SPARSH MD Skin & VD