Correction of Congenital Nevi by Boston Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Bartlett

Congenital nevi, frequently called “moles,” are very common and are not a problem in the vast majority of cases. However, certain patients are affected by “atypical nevi” or “giant nevi” which carry an increased incidence of developing malignant melanoma (cancer). Such nevi can be small and “mole–like” or can cover large areas, for example, an entire back, limb, or half of a scalp.

Patients affected by such lesions should be closely followed by their primary care doctor and/or dermatologist. These physicians often recommend removal of nevi which have changed or are at risk for the development of skin cancers later in life. Occasionally, the patient or their family requests removal to improve appearance and improve self esteem. Because of the size of such lesions and the fact that they are often on sensitive areas such as the face, a plastic surgeon is usually consulted.

One of Boston’s premier reconstructive plastic surgeons, Richard A. Bartlett, M.D. has one of the largest series of treated nevi in the country. Dr. Bartlett carefully evaluates each patient who presents with atypical nevi and clearly explains their treatment options. Often this process takes more than one visit. For smaller nevi the critical issue is usually performing the surgery to minimize scarring. Larger nevi often require special reconstructive surgery techniques to restore the appearance of the skin, including skin grafts or tissue expansion. In every case the goal is to remove harmful or unsightly nevi while achieving a result with which patients will be happy.

For more information on congenital nevi visit the Nevus Outreach.