Our London based practice is one of the first centres in the UK to offer autologous melanocyte transplantation for the treatment of Vitiligo. If you are suffering from this condition, please contact us today to see if we can be of assistance to you.
Vitiligo treatment at Wimpole:
Our London based practice is one of the first centres in the UK to offer autologous melanocyte transplantation for the treatment of vitiligo.
What better way to treat an area of skin defect than to transfer skin cells from another area of the body to the defective area? Cells from a patient’s own body are called autologous cells.
Vitiligo is caused by the loss of melanocytes, the skin cells which produce the skin colour melanin. As well as melanocytes, the skin is primarily made up of keratinocytes and a few other cells such as Langerhans cells and fibroblasts. Using a special enzyme and in sterile conditions, the cells from a small area of skin can be separated. They are then placed in a suspension which is applied to the area of skin that is defective.
Is the treatment for me?
The treatment works better on certain types of vitiligo than others. Determining which type of vitiligo will respond best to this treatment is a decision that must be made by an expert in this type of vitiligo treatment.
Questions we need to have answered:
- Where are your vitiligo patches and what is their approximate size?
- How long have you had them?
- Give a clear description of their behavior after you first noticed them?
The treatment can be used on most areas of the body including face, eyelids, hands, genitals and feet. Please note that people who do have health issues need not be excluded but special precautions may be required. All aspects of the procedure and your health will be discussed during your initial private consultation.
How does the autologous melanocyte transplantation work?
The procedure is performed under sterile conditions in a specific theatre. Under local anaesthetic, a small, very thin area of healthy skin is removed, usually from the hip area. Using a well researched and developed technique, the skin is processed to produce a pre-confluent mix of epidermal cells. The area to be treated is gently abraded, once again under local anaesthetic, and the skin cell mixture is applied. The skin cells immediately attach themselves and the healing and repigmentation process begins. As Dr Mulekar has specialized in this technique for over 15 years, there is no danger of scarring during this process. The cells can do no harm as they are autologous ie the patient’s own cells.
What happens post-procedure?
The treated site is protected by a dressing for one week. Often less time if the treated area is on the face. You will be given verbal and written post procedure instructions before leaving the Wimpole Aesthetics. Dependant on the site that was treated, no further dressing is required and you will need to follow the instructions you were given by the clinic.
There is no bruising or swelling. Some patients may feel minor discomfort at the biopsy and treated site for a few days which can be treated with a mild painkiller if wished. Recovery is remarkably quick.
How effective is the treatment?
The treatment is very safe and usually 100% effective. Patients start to see repigmentation in about 1 to 4 months with full benefit in up to a year. This is because the transplanted melanocytes need to proliferate and begin producing melanin.
Most patients get the result they seek with a single treatment but for some patients with larger areas it may be necessary to have more than one treatment session. This aspect of care will be discussed at the initial consultation.
The cost of melanocyte transfer:
The cost of the vitiligo treatment will depend on the size of the area to be treated. Please discuss this during your consultation with your doctor.
Dr Sanjeev Mulekar
Dr Sanjeev Mulekar is the Vitiligo specialist at the Wimpole Aesthetics, London. He was a pioneer of the non-cultured melanocyte transplantation method for the treatment of vitiligo, and has trained clinicians in many different countries.
During 2011, he was invited to present a lecture and conduct a workshop by the Royal Society of Medicine in London.
Dr Mulekar has performed more than 3000 procedures to date in the Middle East, Far East, USA and UK. He is actively involved in research and has published more than 25 research papers in reputed international journals such as Archives of Dermatology, Dermatologic Surgery, Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, International Journal of Dermatology, Burns, British Journal of Dermatology. His two latest papers are currently in print for the Br J Dermatol and J. Cutan. Aesthet. Surg
RELATED STORIES & LINKS FOR Vitiligo Treatments
For detailed information regarding vitiligo treatment, please visit our dedicated Vitiligo Treatment website
PUBLICATIONS by Dr S V Mulekar
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar. Principles of Diagnosis in Dermatology. Indian Journal of Homeopathic Medicine. 1988; 23
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar. Autologous Melanocyte Transplantation in Vitiligo Dermatology Update, Edited by R.G.Valia, Ameet Valia, Bhalani Publishing House. 1998
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar. Melanocyte rich cell suspension for transplantation Vitiligo, A Monograph And Color Atlas Published by Dr. Vinay Saraf for Fulford India Ltd. January 2000
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar Study of Topical Anti-inflammatory Potency and Clinical Efficacy of Formulations of Mometasone and Betamethasone by Cutaneous Blood Flow Measurements in Psoriatic Patients using Laser Doppler Velocimetry Indian Journal of Dermatology 1997:42; 1-7
- Mulekar SV. Melanocyte-Keratinocyte Cell Transplantation for Stable Vitiligo Int J Dermatol 2003:42; 132-136
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar. Long –term follow-up study of 142 patients with vitiligo vulgaris treated by autologous, non-cultured melanocyte-keratinocyte cell transplantation Int. J. Dermatol 2005: 44; 841-845
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar. Long term Follow-up Study of Segmental and Focal Vitiligo Treated by Autologous, Noncultured Melanocyte–Keratinocyte Cell Transplantation Archives of Dermatology 2004; 140:1211-1215
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar, Abdulla Al Eissa, Marwan Asaad. Koebnerization of donor site in unilateral vitiligo patients, treated successfully by Autologous, Non-Cultured Melanocyte- Keratinocyte (MK) cell transplantation. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 2005; 30: 435-36
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar, Ahmed Al Issa, Abdullah Al Eisa, Marwan Asaad. Genital Vitiligo treated by Autologous, Noncultured Melanocyte-Keratinocyte Cell Transplantation Dermatol Surg 2005; 31: 1737-1740
- Sanjeev V Mulekar. Stable Vitiligo Treated by a Combination of Low-Dose Oral Pulse Betamethasone and Autologous , Noncultured melanocyte-keratinocyte cell Transplantation Dermatol Surg 2006; 32: 536-541
- Sanjeev V. Mulekar, Ahmed Al Issa, Marwan Asaad, Bassel Ghwish Abdullah Al Eisa Mixed Vitiligo Jr. of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery 2006; 10(2): 104-107
- Sanjeev Mulekar, Marwan Asaad, Bassel Ghwish, Ahmed Al Issa, Abdulla Al Eisa Koebner Phenomenon in Vitiligo: Not Always an Indication of Surgical Failure Arch dermatol 2007; 143: 801-802
- Mulekar SV, Al Jasser MI, Al Issa A. Melanocyte-Keratinocyte Transplantation in Genital Vitiligo – A Report of Three cases. Journal of the Saudi Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery 2007; 11: 6-9.
- Sanjeev V Mulekar, Bassel Ghwish, Ahmed Al Issa, Abdullah Al Eisa. Treatment of vitiligo lesions by ReCell and conventional melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation: A pilot study Br J Dermatol 2008; 158: 45-49
- Sanjeev V Mulekar, Ahmed Al Issa, Abdullah Al Eisa. Treatment of Halo nevus with 308-nm excimer laser: A pilot study J Cosmetic and Laser Therapy 2007; 9: 245-248
- Sanjeev V Mulekar, Bassel Ghwish, Ahmed Al Issa, Adbullah Al Eisa Melanocyte – keratinocyte transplantation for post discoid lupus erythematosus de-pigmentation Dermatol Surg ; 2008; 34:261-63
- Sanjeev V Mulekar MD, Ahmed Al Issa MD, Abdullah Al Eisa MD Treatment of vitiligo on difficult to treat sites by autologous noncultured cellular grafting: Dermatol Surg 2009;35:66-71
- Sanjeev V Mulekar, Abdullah Al Eisa, Mohmed bilal Delvi, Ahmed Al Issa, Abdul Hamid Al Saeed. Childhood vitiligo: A long term study of localized vitiligo treated by noncultured cellular grafting. Pediatr Dermatol 2010; 27(2):132-136
- Mulekar SV. Surgical management of vitiligo. Expert Rev. Dermatol 2010;5(2):229-239
- Sanjeev V Mulekar, Ahmed Al Issa, Abdullah Al Eisa.Treatment of post-burn leucoderma with non-cultured melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation (MKTP). Burns 2011;37:448-452.
- Sanjeev V Mulekar, Ahmed Al Issa, Abdullah Al Eisa. Nevus Depigmentosus: Treated by melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation with review of the literature. J. Cutan. Aesthet. Surg. 2011;4:29-32.
- Luluah Al-Mubarak, Hind Al-Mohanna, Ahmed Al-Issa, Monzer Jabak, Sanjeev v Mulekar. Quality of Life in Saudi Vitiligo Patients. J. Cutan. Aesthet. Surg. 2011;4:33-37.
- Ahmed Al-Issa, Abdullah Al-Eisa, Huma R, Sanjeev V Mulekar. Vitiligo-epidemiological study of 4134 patients at National Center for Vitiligo & Psoriasis in Central Saudi Arabia. Saudi med J 2011;32(12):1291-1296.
- Henderson MD, Huggins RH, Mulekar SV, Ozog DM, Lim HW, Hamzavi IH. Autologous Noncultured Melanocyte-Keratinocyte Transplantation Procedure in an African American Man With Postburn Leukoderma. Arch Dermatol 2011;147(9):1025-1028.
- Huggins RH, Henderson MD, Mulekar SV, Ozog DM, Kerr HA, Jabobsen G, Lim HW, Hamzavi IH. Melanocyte – keratinocyte transplantation procedure in the treatment of vitiligo: The experience of an academic medical centre in United States. J Am Acad Dermatol; 2012 May; 66(5):785-93.
- Mohammed AlJasser, Bassel Ghwish, Ahmed Al Issa, Sanjeev Mulekar. Repigmentation of vitiligo-associated leukotrichia after autologous, non-cultured melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation. Int J Dermatol (In press)
- Sanjeev V Mulekar and Prescilia Isedeh. Surgical interventions for vitiligo; an evidence based review. Br J Dermatol (In press)
- Mohammed I. AlJasser, Smita S Mulekar, Sanjeev V Mulekar. Epidermal cell suspension: achieved by incubation at room temperature. J. Cutan. Aesthet. Surg. (In press)