Vitiligo Surgery Update

Dr Phillip Artemi recently attended the Vitiligo International Symposium held in Detroit Michigan from November 8-11th 2018. During the meeting he was invited to join 13 other Vitiligo Specialist Dermatologists from around the world in a Vitiligo Surgery Workshop held at the Henry Ford Hospital.

The current treatment of choice around the world remains non-cultured autologous epidermal suspension transplantation and in the presence of stable vitiligo (no extension of existing vitiligo, no development of new lesions of vitiligo and no history of trauma induced vitiligo over a 12-month period), success rates on average are greater than 75% repigmentation in greater than 75% of patients. In non-segmental stable facial vitiligo and segmental vitiligo regimentation rates are much higher reaching more than 90-95%

The meeting also discussed the latest advances in melanocyte stem cell transplantation using intact hair follicles from the scalp of patients. This procedure, termed non-cultured extracted hair follicle outer root sheath cell suspension transplantation, whilst not yet perfected, has potentially numerous benefits to traditional epidermal cell suspension therapy. These include:

* No scaring at the donor site (scalp) compared with the current split skin graft required (thigh)

* Greater population of “donor” pigment cells from the hair follicle compared to the skin

* Larger and more active pigment cells from the hair follicle compared to the skin

* The additional presence of melanocyte stem cells in hair follicles

Dr Artemi has been performing all types of vitiligo surgery since 2015 and has trained in Europe, India, Singapore and the United States. At the Vitiligo Centre Dr Artemi and staff believe all patients should be able to access vitiligo surgery if suitable for their condition. The cost of vitiligo surgery to patients ranges from $500-$1000.00. This is comparably cheaper than overseas centres and has allowed all suitable patients to benefit from the treatment

Excimer Pulse Light Treatment Now Available

After a successful trial earlier this year, The Vitiligo Centre Australia has purchased the German Engineered ExSys 308nm light system, a hand-held device that has the same emission spectrum and power output as excimer laser (monochromatic 308nm UVB light). Compared to traditional UVB therapy, doses available are higher, treatment times faster (seconds rather than minutes) and response times much quicker (weeks rather than months)

During the trial, we assessed the treatment on 12 patients (children and adults) with vitiligo affecting areas such as the face, neck, scalp, trunk, limbs hand and feet. The crystal glass cylinders unique to the ExSys 308nm system, allowed superior visibility of the treatment areas, precise delivery of the required dose to the vitiligo lesion, and enabled us to treat difficult areas such as the ears, around the eye and in the groin.

We found that the face. neck, genitals and trunk responded best, particularly in darker skin types. In these areas, with three treatments per week we found 50% of vitiligo patches showed some repigmentation after just 5-6 treatments, and in up to 95% of patches some repigmentation was detected after just 18 treatments. Unfortunately, vitiligo on the hands and fingers did not respond as well.

At your first Excimer light treatment appointment, your skin type will be assessed, and a number of test doses administered to determine the best starting dose for your skin and area of vitiligo. Topical treatment will also be commenced to maximise the response to Excimer light therapy. The dose of UV light delivered and the exposure time is carefully monitored. The dosage will be adjusted according to the skin type reaction. If no adverse reactions are noted, the dosage of UV-light delivered will be increased in small increments at each visit as your treatment progresses. Importantly, baseline and repeat photography every six weeks will be taken to monitor the progress of your treatment. Treatments are painlessly administered by our Vitiligo Registered Nurses supervised throughout the treatment period by Dr Phillip Artemi (Vitiligo Specialist Dermatologist)

If you would like to find out more about excimer pulsed light click here go to video, speak to one of our Vitiligo Nurse on 9602-0286, or make an appointment to see Dr Phillip Artemi to discuss a comprehensive vitiligo management plan that may include Excimer pulsed light.