Content » Vol 101, June

Clinical Report

Visual Impact of Large and Giant Congenital Naevi: Comparison of Surgical Scars with Naevi Before Surgery

Francesca Sampogna, Melinda González, Mirella Pascini-Garrigós, Neus Calbet-Llopart, Jennifer L. Hay, Bruce S. Bauer, Susana Puig, Josep Malvehy, Ashfaq A. Marghoob, Cristina Carrera
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3826


Surgical attempts to remove large/giant congenital melanocytic naevi (LGCMN) are supported mainly by the theoretical improvement in patients’ self-image; however such surgery can result in unaesthetic scarring. We hypothesize that difference in appearance itself has an impact, and hence surgery cannot negate this impact. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore how LGCMN and scarring are perceived by non-affected people. We surveyed the visual impact on 1,015 health and non-health professionals working in a university hospital. Participants were assigned to 1 of 3 surveys, which, based on photographs of children: (i) assessed the visual impact of LGCMN; (ii) the visual impact of scarring; (iii) compared the impact of LGCMN and scarring. Feelings and perceptions evoked by images of children, either with LGCMN or with scarring, were remarkably similar. However, when the images of the same child (with LGCMN or scarring) were shown together, respondents showed significantly increased preference for scarring.


Large and giant congenital melanocytic naevi are rare pigmented skin disorders involving a great body area, as a result can imply stigmatization and aesthetic impairment. Surgical attempts to remove part or most of the naevus can be proposed to reduce the affected area, but leave visible scars as well. Present study found that feelings experienced by non-affected people looking at children with large and giant congenital melanocytic naevi or scars after surgery were quite similar. However, when the images (large and giant congenital melanocytic naevi or scarring) were shown together, non-affected people reported a general preference for scarring. General population could be more familiar with scars, favoring this preference.

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