Comparison of three different surgical approaches for the treatment of large/giant congenital melanocytic nevus

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022 Oct;21(10):4609-4616. doi: 10.1111/jocd.15219. Epub 2022 Jul 19.


Objective: Treating large/giant congenital melanocytic nevus (L/GCMN) is challenging for surgeons. Operative approaches commonly used to remove L/GCMN include serial excision, tissue expansion, and skin grafting. Thus, we retrospectively compared these three operations' applications and therapeutic effects.

Methods: The clinical data of 97 L/GCMN patients from June 1, 2015, to June 1, 2019, were collected and divided into three groups according to the operations used: serial excision group (SE group, n = 18), tissue expansion group (TE group, n = 23), and skin grafting group (SG group, n = 56). The location and size of the lesion, the number of operations, duration of each operation, preoperative preparation time, postoperative hospital stay, complications, and clinical outcomes of all patients were collected and assessed.

Results: The SE group had the most times of operation (3.9 and 6.0 for LCMN and GCMN, respectively), the shortest surgery length (56.3 min), and the shortest postoperative hospital stay (10.0d). The SE and SG groups required much less time to prepare for surgery and had a lower rate of complications than the TE group. During the 11.9-month median follow-up period, the SE and TE groups had better postoperative outcomes than the SG group.

Conclusion: Each of the three operations has different advantages and disadvantages, and the specific surgical strategy should be decided based on the patient's unique circumstances.

Keywords: congenital melanocytic nevus; serial excision; skin grafting; tissue expansion.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nevus, Pigmented* / congenital
  • Nevus, Pigmented* / pathology
  • Nevus, Pigmented* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Skin Transplantation

Supplementary concepts

  • Melanocytic nevus syndrome, congenital