Present at birth or soon after, congenital nevi are dark, noncancerous skin patches on the body. They can appear anywhere but are typically found on the trunk, arms or legs. These patches range from tan to black and can be flat, rough, raised, thickened or bumpy. They also may be dry, irritated and itchy. When they cause discomfort or make a child feel self-conscious, they can be removed surgically.
A more serious form is giant congenital nevi. This may occur on the head or back and usually includes a dark, hairy patch of skin. This form of congenital nevi brings a small increased risk of skin cancer (melanoma).
In addition, children with giant congenital nevi may develop a condition where pigment-producing skin cells invade the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord. This growth can cause tumors in the brain or increased pressure in the brain that can lead to headaches, vomiting, irritability, seizures and movement problems. If giant congenital nevi wraps around an arm or leg it can sometimes restrict growth of the affected limb.
Children with giant congenital nevi also can develop other types of tumors including soft tissue tumors (sarcomas), fatty tumors (lipomas) and nerve cell tumors (schwannomas).
If surgery is appropriate for your child's condition, Dr. Muzaffar will discuss options with you and create the best treatment plan for your child.
Dr. Muzaffar can remove small birthmarks or moles as a minor outpatient procedure. However, several complex surgical procedures may be needed to remove giant congenital nevi depending on their size and location on the body.
The recovery process after surgery will vary based on the type of procedure your child requires. Your doctor will provide you with specific instructions about your child's care after surgery.
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