Surgery to Remove Moles or Congenital Pigmented Lesions


Malignant Melanoma with complete resection at 3 months

What are moles or congenital pigmented lesions?

Some pigmented lesions (moles or Nevi) are present at birth; other pigmented lesions or moles develop with aging and were not present at birth. Congenital nevi can be classified based on their size, and are described based on their location, color, surface texture, and if there is hair present. Pigmented nevi occur in all ethnic groups, male and female, and often change during puberty.

What causes congenital nevi to occur and when should they be removed?

Congenital nevi are caused by a growth of melanocytes or pigmented cells, within the skin before birth. These are usually larger than pigmented nevi that develop in childhood and adolescence. The risk of developing a melanoma within a congenital pigmented lesion is greatest in childhood, with over 70% of melanomas associated with these lesions occurring before the age of ten. Surgical excision may require serial excisions or possibly skin grafts if the lesions are very large.

CongenitalGiantNevusCongenital Nevus of the breast and axilla in 16 year old girl before and after serial excision six month result

Most acquired congenital nevi are benign, and can be observed and measured during childhood. If these lesions or moles are causing concern or affecting self-image or self esteem, they can be safely removed once the child is old enough to be a willing participant in the excision process.

See Mole Removal Photo Gallery