Surgical management of stable vitiligo: A review with personal experience

Dermatol Surg. 2000 Mar;26(3):248-54. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.2000.09182.x.


Background: Various modalities are available for surgical management of stable, localized patches of vitiligo, which are resistant to conventional medical treatment. Cutaneous surgeons often struggle to select among various methods of surgical treatment that include camouflage tattooing, melanocyte transplants, excision, and melanocyte culture. The advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of all the available modalities are reviewed.

Objective: The purpose of this review is to find out if any guidelines can be drawn regarding the surgical management of stable vitiligo.

Methods: This article is based on a review of the medical literature and the author's personal experience over the last decade.

Results: It is difficult to draw any fixed guidelines from this review. Treatment must be individualized depending upon the site and the extent of involvement.

Conclusion: Although the retrospective nature of this article limits its validity, discussing the various therapeutic options is of value as continuing medical education. Surgical treatment may be individualized to obtain the best possible cosmetic result.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Melanocytes / transplantation
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Tattooing
  • Vitiligo / surgery*