Vitiligo is a type of medical disorder that leaves discolored patches on your skin.Hence This affects the way you look and as a result can have physical as well as psychological impact on you. Therefore It is advisable to consult an experienced and reliable doctor or physician to choose the best vitiligo surgical treatment in India.
The surgical treatment for vitiligo varies mainly according to the method applied to restore normal appearance to the affected skin portions on the body of the patient. The main aim of any type of vitiligo surgery is to actually transfer pigment-producing cells (called as melanocytes) sourced from the normal skin portion of the patient and implanting these cells into the skin affected by vitiligo.
Main Types of Vitiligo Surgery
Let us first look at the types of vitiligo surgeries that almost use melanocytes-filled tissue for grafting:
- Miniature punch grafting – This is by far the most common form of vitiligo treatment surgery. It requires the surgeon to punch small (2 mm) holes into the skin from the donor site in the patient’s body, where an abundance of unaffected natural skin can be found (such as thigh or the buttocks).As a result These punched-out pieces of healthy melanocytes-filled skin are then implanted into same-sized punch holes in the affected region, after removing the upper dead layer of skin.
- Suction blister grafting – In this vitiligo treatment surgery, the surgeon will attempt to form multiple blisters in the skin from the donor site in the patient. These blisters can be formed using syringes and suction caps, suction pumps or negative pressure by cutaneous suction system. The surgeon will use the base of the various sized syringes to remove the top layer of healthy skin from the blister by coating the syringe base with Vaseline. The removed skin is extracted carefully from the base of the syringe and shaped into the required dimensions before being implanted into the affected site.
- Split thickness skin grafting – This surgery requires the surgeon to carefully remove thin layers of healthy skin from the donor site on the patient’s body, using fine scalpels to shave them off efficiently. As compared to the other methods of melanocytes tissue grafting, this method is able to cover larger areas for sourcing graft material from healthy donor skin.
Apart from these, there are other types of vitiligo surgery treatment methods that mainly depend on grafting various melanocytes-filled cell substances into the affected region, these are:
- Non-cultured Autologous Epidermal Cell Suspensions – These are fast gaining popularity owing to their better efficiency. Ready-to-proceed kits are now available for surgeons which contain pre-harvested donor tissue. This contains the separated epidermis melanocytes which are converted into a cell suspension. This cell suspension needs to be applied onto the affected skin. This technique allows for larger areas to be treated with efficiency and more convenience.
- Cultured Melanocytes Suspensions – With this method the tissue is sourced previously. The tissue is then processed carefully to remove the melanocytes as well as the keratinocytes from it which is then used to treat the affected skin portions.
Before the surgeon proceeds with the implanting of the donor skin tissue (or cell suspensions) they will remove the uppermost (superficial) layer of the affected skin after putting the patient under local anesthetic. The surgeon may use cryotherapy, dermabrasion, shave biopsy, laser therapy or punch biopsy to take off the affected upper layer of the skin.
Potential risks and complications of Vitiligo surgery
- Graft rejection
- Cobble-stone textured skin
- Non-matching skin color
- De-pigmentation (in donor site)
- Peripheral de-pigmentation (halo effect)
However, most of these risks are associated generally with almost all other surgical procedure as well. In addition to this, the surgeon will take every preventive measure available to ensure that your vitiligo surgery is successful and efficient as well.