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Pay wards at General Hospital soon

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NEW ADDITION: A patient being treated for black pigmentation at Government Stanley Hospital in Chennai on Friday. Health Minister K. K. S. S. R. Ramachandran, who commissioned two machines at the hospital, is in the picture. Photo: R. Ragu
NEW ADDITION: A patient being treated for black pigmentation at Government Stanley Hospital in Chennai on Friday. Health Minister K. K. S. S. R. Ramachandran, who commissioned two machines at the hospital, is in the picture. Photo: R. Ragu

Staff Reporter

Stanley Hospital gets machines to treat pigmented skin

CHENNAI: Pay-and-use wards at the Government General Hospital will open in a few days. "There will also be suite facilities," Health Minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran told reporters on Friday.

The wards, with 200 beds, to be maintained by the Tamil Nadu Medical Commission, will have its own nurses, he said. The Minister was speaking to the press after commissioning two state-of-the-art machines at the Government Stanley Hospital's dermatology ward.

The decision on the pay wards at the GGH was delayed as the Chief Minister was not pleased with the pay structure proposed earlier. After the bill is tabled in the Assembly the decision would be announced, he said. The rates would be half of what corporate hospitals like Apollo levy, Mr. Ramachandran said.

New machines

The dermatology department of the Stanley Hospital is now a special centre for the poor seeking free treatment for skin pigment disorders. The new machines, costing about Rs. 10 lakh, are the first of their kind to be installed in a government hospital in the State, the Minister said.

The machines could treat a gamut of pigment-related disorders that occur when melanocytes under the skin do not function properly. Melanocytes provide pigmentation to the skin, said G.R. Ratnavel, dermatologist attached to the hospital. While one treats black pigmentation, the other treats white pigmentation, commonly known as vitiligo or leucoderma.

The Q-switched Nd Yag Laser could treat hyper pigmented conditions such as melasma, birth marks and remove unwanted tattoos. In pregnant women pigmentation is more common. About 95 per cent of the tattoo marks could be removed, he said. "Much of it is about the cosmetic effect," he said.

The treatment is done in small patches of two sq. cm per sitting, with a gap of 15 days between the sittings. The laser treatment leaves spots of white on the black-pigmented skin, which disappear in four days bringing normal colour back to the skin.

The second machine, Smart Vitiligo, harvests skin and grafts the good skin on the affected part. The harvested part is not affected in the process.

About 15 crore people in the country suffer from this condition, Dr. Ratnavel said.

The hospital already has a carbon-dioxide laser used to treat skin tumours and another machine to treat vitiligo in hands and feet and the entire body.

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