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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 74  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 37--45

Standard guidelines of care for vitiligo surgery

1 Members, IADVL Dermatosurgery Task Force*, Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Dermatology & Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Davinder Parsad
Department of Dermatology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18688102

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Vitiligo surgery is an effective method of treatment for selected, resistant vitiligo patches in patients with vitiligo. Physician's qualifications: The physician performing vitiligo surgery should have completed postgraduate training in dermatology which included training in vitiligo surgery. If the center for postgraduation does not provide education and training in cutaneous surgery, the training may be obtained at the surgical table (hands-on) under the supervision of an appropriately trained and experienced dermatosurgeon at a center that routinely performs the procedure. Training may also be obtained in dedicated workshops. In addition to the surgical techniques, training should include local anesthesia and emergency resuscitation and care. Facility: Vitiligo surgery can be performed safely in an outpatient day care dermatosurgical facility. The day care theater should be equipped with facilities for monitoring and handling emergencies. A plan for handling emergencies should be in place, with which all nursing staff should be familiar. Vitiligo grafting for extensive areas may need general anesthesia and full operation theater facility in a hospital setting and the presence of an anesthetist is recommended in such cases. Indications for vitiligo surgery : Surgery is indicated for stable vitiligo that does not respond to medical treatment. While there is no consensus on definitive parameters for stability, the Task Force suggests the absence of progression of disease for the past one year as a definition of stability. Test grafting may be performed in doubtful cases to detect stability. Preoperative counseling and Informed consent: A detailed consent form elaborating the procedure and possible complications should be signed by the patient. The patient should be informed of the nature of the disease and that the determination of stability is only a vague guide. The consent form should specifically state the limitations of the procedure, about the possible future progression of disease and whether more procedures will be needed for proper results. The patient should be provided with adequate opportunity to seek information through brochures and one-to-one discussions. The need for concomitant medical therapy should be emphasized and the patient should understand that proper results take time (a few months to a year). Preoperative laboratory studies include hemogram including platelet counts, bleeding and clotting time (or prothrombin and activated partial thromboplastin time), and blood chemistry profile. Screening for antibodies for hepatitis B surface antigen and HIV is recommended depending on individual requirements. Anesthesia: Lignocaine (2%) with or without adrenaline is generally used for anesthesia; infiltration and nerve block anesthesia are adequate in most cases. General anesthesia may be needed in patients with extensive lesions. Postoperative care: Proper postoperative immobilization and care are very important to obtain satisfactory results.


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