Learn More About Congenital Nevus
The diagnosis is based on the presence of pigmented skin lesions present since birth.
We call giant congenital nevus for lesions that compromise large body extensions (above 20cm2 or when they affect a limb or body territory).
Because of their large size they cause significant aesthetic compromise and can lead to significant psychological consequences.
In addition, and more importantly, patients who are diagnosed with congenital giant nevus have a higher risk of developing skin cancer in the compromised areas. Malignant melanoma may originate from these areas and for this reason its occurrence is more frequent in these patients. This is one of the main reasons for treatment during childhood.
Malignant melanoma in young patients, especially children, is quite rare. However, if the patient has a congenital nevi, this risk increases. The exact risk is not fully known, but there are studies showing a markedly increased frequency in relation to patients without congenital nevi. Because it is a rare problem, a precise risk is more difficult to establish and there is a need for individualized assessment.
- Every child with congenital nevus needs specialized evaluation by dermatologists and plastic surgeons with experience in pediatric diseases.
- The dermatologist is very important in the evaluation of the lesions and their follow-up, together with the surgeon.
- Treatment of congenital nevi is surgical. Itcan be accomplished in several ways, depending on the size and location.
- Removal of the lesion must be followed by proper reconstruction of the defect. It can be performed by simply approaching the skin or in large lesions using skin grafts or skin flaps. In many cases the technique of tissue expansion is required.
- Treatment can be performed in a single step or require more than one surgery to achieve the planned outcome. This occurs when nevus is partially and sequelntially removed or when tissue expanders are necessary.
Dr. Dov Goldenberg and his team are able to perform all types of available treatmens.
See Dr. Goldenberg’s recent interview on this theme in the Globo TV Program. Link of the interview.