Case report| Volume 65, ISSUE 2, P258-263, February 2012

Treatment of giant congenital melanocytic nevus of the left upper extremity with staged expanded flap


      Excision of a congenital giant nevus is advised due to the possibility of it degenerating into a malignant melanoma or for aesthetic concerns. Tissue expansion has emerged as the primary treatment of giant congenital nevi because it enables the body to produce extra skin with excellent texture, better colour match, less severe donor-site deformity and repeated usage of an expanding donor-site. We present a multi-staged expansion/local flap technique to treat a case of a circumferential nevus from the acromioclavicular joint and axillary area throughout the upper extremity excluding the hand. The affected skin was approximately 10% of the total body surface area. The patient underwent eight operations and a total of 11 rounds of tissue expansions (500 cc × 9 rounds, 600 cc × 1 round, 300 cc × 1 round) were completed over a 2-year period prior to the removal of the nevus. A good aesthetic and functional outcome in the left upper extremity was gained. It is recommended that the treatment of giant nevi is best if completed at preschool age after taking several factors into consideration.


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