Vitiligo surgery: A faster method of suction blistering using the celluTome device



Vitiligo is a chronic skin disorder that causes exposed areas of skin to become depigmented, appearing as white patches on sites, such as the face, elbows, knees, hands and feet. Vitiligo can be managed medically, and in patients with stable vitiligo, surgical options can be considered.
Vitiligo surgery aims for complete repigmentation of the affected area that cosmetically matches the surrounding normal skin. There are currently two main categories; Grafting of melanocyte-rich tissue; and Grafting of melanocyte cells. In this case series we demonstrate how the CelluTome device uses suction blistering of epidermal tissue to obtain a donor graft in a manner that is fast, easy, and painless.
In suction blister grafting, negative pressure is applied to the normally pigmented donor site to promote the formation of multiple blisters. In other studies, blisters may be raised using syringes, suction pumps, or suction cups. The roofs of the blisters (the donor grafts) are surgically removed, cut to size and shape, and grafted onto the prepared recipient site. These methods generally work well, but are quite laborious and take several hours.
This article demonstrates how the CelluTome method takes under an hour; start to finish, including the time to prepare the recipient site with laser resurfacing. The patients are followed up with photos taken at one week and three months post-surgery. An independent observer scores the quality of the outcome. Clinical cases will be presented.
1. • Falabella R; Surgical Approaches for Stable Vitiligo. Dermatol Surg 2005; 31:1277-1284
2. • Falabella R; Surgical Approaches for Stable Vitiligo. Dermatol Surg 2005; 31:1277-1284
3. • Patel NS, Paghdal KV, Cohen GF; Advanced treatment modalities for vitiligo. Dermatol Surg 2012; 38:381-391


Dr. Phoebe Serena Jones