Most congenital growths (birthmarks) are harmless, easy to conceal, and do not require intervention or surgical removal. However, sometimes dermatologists or physicians recommend the removal of some types of growths for various reasons. This can include deep hemangiomas (see vascular malformations) that pose a threat to surrounding, healthy skin and soft tissues. Also, a sebaceous nevi birthmark, which most commonly appears on the scalp, is often removed to avoid the progression of a bald spot on a child's head. Large moles that are present at birth are commonly removed as well. Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is a superior cosmetic surgery facility founded and operated by Dr. Raj Sawh-Martinez, a skilled surgeon with extensive experience in the removal of birthmarks, tumors, and growths. Schedule a consultation to learn more about your treatment options.
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Candidates for Surgery
The location and size of a birthmark are usually the most significant factors used to decide if surgery should be performed. Hemangiomas on the face that pose a risk to surrounding healthy tissue are almost always removed. Young children have such incredible skin elasticity and resilience that professionals regularly recommend removal of lesions or birthmarks at a young age to avoid future self-confidence issues. Dr. Sawh-Martinez recognizes that visible birthmarks can affect a child's long-term emotional health and is compassionate about that factor when recommending treatment and performing surgery.
For large birthmarks that may be deeper in the skin, a series of shorter surgeries may offer better results and fewer scars. Your child's candidacy for surgery and surgical treatment plan will be decided upon during your consultation with Dr. Sawh-Martinez.
In most cases, birthmark removal can be performed in an outpatient procedure using a local anesthesia, allowing you and your child to return the same day. These removals will be closed with stitches that will dissolve on their own within a week of the procedure. For large, extensive birthmarks, or those that may be related to a vascular malformation, a series of surgeries may be scheduled. During the first procedure, Dr. Sawh-Martinez will remove a section from the middle of the growth. This will be repeated two or three times after intervals of healing to reduce the presence of scarring. Tissue expansion techniques may be used to conceal large growth removals and sebaceous nevus. This technique allows for minimal scarring.
What to Expect
Children typically recover quickly from surgery, but the exact timeline for full recovery can vary according to the age of the child, the size of the growth, and the extent of the surgery. Aftercare instructions given by our team or nursing staff will include covering the incision with a bandage and allowing the skin to heal. Stitches will dissolve on their own after a few days. You will return to Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for a follow-up appointment about one-week post surgery.
A large birthmark removal surgery could leave the treated area sore and swollen for a few days. However, most children recover fully within a month. If the surrounding skin becomes inflamed or your child develops a fever or flu-like symptoms, you should visit your primary care provider immediately for evaluation.
If your child was born with a large and obvious birthmark that you fear will cause self-confidence issues in their future, there is no better time than now to have it removed. Dr. Sawh-Martinez offers a gentle, artistic precision during plastic surgery that is envied by his peers. Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery specializes in the surgical treatment of pediatric conditions and offers unparalleled expertise on the subject. Schedule your child's consultation at our Orlando, FL practice at your earliest convenience to begin creating a customized treatment plan for your child.