Miniature punch grafting, also known as minigrafting, is the simplest and the least expensive of all the grafting procedures in vitiligo.The procedure involves the transfer of circular pieces or punches of skin tissue from the donor area into similar shaped pits that are made on the recipient skin.
Vitiligo is a common acquired disorder of skin pigmentation characterized by localized loss of skin pigment secondary to melanocyte damage. As most of the patients with vitiligo are managed by medical means there remains a group that is resistant to all the non-surgical means of treatment. The only possible treatment in such patients is a surgical replacement of the damaged melanocytes. In addition, there is a group of vitiligo patients in whom surgical therapy is considered to be more appropriate than medical means. These surgical techniques are collectively known as grafting procedures and they have become a popular choice among dermatologists in India and even in the rest of the world. The choice of the grafting procedure to be performed usually depends upon the extent or size of the vitiligo lesion to be treated, the site of the lesion, the age of the patient, his/her expectations and social needs, and lastly the expertise of the operating surgeon.
In general, grafting techniques in vitiligo are divided into two main groups: Tissue grafting and cellular grafting procedures. As the former group encompasses the different techniques of transferring skin tissue grafts as a whole to the involved recipient skin, the latter involves further separation of these skin grafts into cellular components. These cellular components are then applied on the dermabraded recipient skin either as such or after growth and multiplication in culture media. As a whole, tissue grafting procedures are simpler and easier to perform than the cellular transplantation methods.
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