If your child has a mole that is very large, disfiguring or interfering with normal function or development, the mole may be removed surgically. Surgical excision (removal) is also generally recommended for giant congenital nevi (GCN) and large congenital melanocytic nevi (LCMN), as these moles have the greatest risk of developing melanoma.
Your child’s doctor will help explain the nature of the mole and go over the options for treatment. When removing these very large moles, a plastic surgeon may be needed for surgical excision and any reconstruction that may be needed to minimize scarring and improve appearance.
What to expect
At The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, your child will receive comprehensive, up-to-date care from expert pediatric surgeons.
Surgical excision may involve more than one stage depending on the size of the mole. Tissue expanders may be used to help expand and “grow” the skin in order to aid in reconstruction.
Depending on the size and location of the mole (for example if the mole is interfering with your child’s ability to function normally), more complex reconstruction involving skin grafts or tissue transfer may be required. Our plastic surgeons are experienced in the most complex reconstructions.
Follow-up care after surgery
After surgery, your child’s surgeon will assess the surgical incisions and wounds to ensure your child is healing properly.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, your child may require a stay at the hospital. If tissue expanders were placed, weekly office visits may be required to continue the expansion process.
Depending on the mole, some children may require additional surgeries.
If a mole returns, or shows any concerning changes that may risk developing into skin cancer like melanoma, your child will have immediate access to top pediatric oncologists.