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

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