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Vitiligo Surgery

What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo or Leucoderma or White Patches is a common condition where white patches develop on the skin due to loss of pigment from affected areas of the skin. There are usually no other symptoms. In some cases the pigment can be restored with medical treatment & phototherapy without surgery.  Also the affected area can be covered by skin camouflage creams& colors.

If the vitiligo is noticeable by other people, embarrassment can lead to self-esteem problems  and in some cases depression. Thus it is considered as a social stigma. These girls & boys with white skin patches, especially demand correction if they are in marriage age group. Some elderly parents also wants vitiligo correction to avoid rejection of their son or daughter for marriage, as vitiligo is known to run in some families.
Cause of Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a condition in which you lose the pigment of your skin. Pigment, or melanin, causes skin color and is produced by cells called “melanocytes.”
Most people with vitiligo lose pigment in patches of normally pigmented skin, which is replaced by flat, white patches with irregular borders. This loss of pigmentation can occur in small patches on one side of the body or in large areas covering over 50 percent of the body.

These patches are usually areas of your body that are exposed to the sun, such as your:
  •  Hands
  •  Face
  •  Arms
  •  Feet
However, your genitalia can also be affected.
Vitiligo can be treated but not cured.  You’ll need to manage the disorder throughout your life. The National Vitiligo Foundation estimates that 0.5 to 1 percent of the general population has vitiligo. The condition isn’t contagious, doesn’t cause pain, and isn’t medically dangerous. Vitiligo affects males and females of all races equally. The loss of pigment, called depigmentation, is more noticeable in people with dark skin.
Treatment Summary
Surgery is very much helpful in stable vitiligo patches. Especially in marriage age group patients, if there is very slow or no response to medical treatment, then plastic surgery is a better and quicker option. Surgery is contrain dicated in children & in active unstable vitiligo patches. Outcome varies with the body areas involved such as lips, genitals, eyelids, bony prominences, etc.
  • Autologous skin grafts
  • Skin grafts using blisters
  • Micro pigmentation (tattooing)
  • Autologous melanocyte transplants
Autologous Skin Grafts:

This is most commonly used surgical method. Plastic Surgeon harvest skin grafts from the normal, pigmented skin (donor sites) and places them on the dermabraded surface of depigmented areas (recipient sites). Skin graft procedure should never be performed in children. It should be performed in adults only if no new white patches have appeared or become worse in at least a year, and if the vitiligo was not originally triggered by damaging the skin due to a sever sunburn. Such skin grafts are used as sheets of graft or as small stamp grafts with Meek Micro-grafting technique. Sheets of split skin grafts produce uniform pigmentations with no cobblstoning.

Skin Grafts Using Blisters:

In this procedure, the Plastic Surgeon creates blisters on the patient’s pigmented skin by using heat, suction, or freezing cold. The tops of the blisters are then cut out and transplanted to a depigmented skin area. This technique is very much time consuming and hence not commonly used.

Micropigmentation (Tattooing):

Tattooing implants pigment into the skin with a special surgical instrument. This procedure works best for the lip area, particularly in people with dark skin; however, it is difficult for the doctor to match perfectly the color of the skin of the surrounding area. Tattooing tends to fade over time. In addition, tattooing of the lips may lead to episodes of blister outbreaks caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Cultured Autologous Melanocyte Transplants:

In this procedure, plastic surgeon takes a sample of the patient’s normal pigmented skin and send it to a laboratory for special cell culture to grow melanocytes. When the melanocytes in the culture solution have multiplied, surgeon transplants them to the patient’s depigmented skin patches. This technique allows larger areas to be treated in a single session using relatively smaller donor site. Also color matching of treated areas is excellent. This sophisticated technique needs a special laboratory for culture.

Non-cultured Autologous Melanocyte Transfer:

It consists of separation of epidermal cells obtained from donor site & spreading these cells as a suspension on the depigmented & dermabraded recipient area. This technique allows larger areas to be treated in a single session using relatively smaller donor site. Also color matching of treated areas is excellent.
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Before & After Vitiligo Surgery At Skin World Pune

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Contact Details

Koregaon Park :

201 Ganga Commerce, Lane 5 corner, North main road, Koregaon Park, Pune - 411001
(020) 2615 1666 

Aundh :

201 Kumar Point , Next To Jai Hind Collections , Parihar Chowk , Aundh , Pune - 411007
(020) 2615 1777

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