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Motorized 0.8-mm micropunch grafting for refractory vitiligo: A retrospective study of 230 cases.

BACKGROUND: Punch grafting for vitiligo is time-consuming and can result in cobblestone-like appearances. We devised a motorized 0.8-mm micropunch grafting procedure to overcome these limitations.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the therapeutic effectiveness and adverse events associated with micropunch grafting in refractory vitiligo.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 230 cases in 208 patients with stable vitiligo who underwent motorized 0.8-mm micropunch grafting during January 2015-August 2017. Treatment success was defined as ≥75% repigmentation, and factors associated with the outcome were assessed.

RESULTS: Overall, 181 of 230 lesions (78.7%) achieved treatment success after a median of 6 months with postoperative excimer therapy. Lesions on the face and neck, and disease stability of ≥12 months were good prognostic factors for treatment success. Common adverse events were color mismatch (24.8%) and cobblestone appearance (18.3%). Overall, the treatment was tolerable.

LIMITATIONS: This was a retrospective study.

CONCLUSION: Micropunch grafting using a motorized 0.8-mm punch can successfully treat refractory vitiligo with short procedure times and excellent outcomes. This technique could be a rapid and convenient surgical option with acceptable adverse events and is promising for treating refractory vitiligo on an outpatient basis, particularly in patients who are unlikely to tolerate prolonged surgery.

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