MULTICENTER STUDY
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Surgical treatment of children and youth with congenital melanocytic nevi: self- and proxy-reported opinions.

PURPOSE: The role of surgery in the management of congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN) is controversial. Data on surgical outcomes and predictors of satisfaction remain scarce.

METHODS: An online survey was employed following worldwide recruitment of youth aged 14-25 years (n = 44) and parents of children ≤ 18 years (n = 249) with CMN to query patterns of treatment and satisfaction with and opinions about the benefits of surgery.

RESULTS: In proxy-reports, 121 of 249 (49%) and in self-reports 30 of 44 (75%) participants underwent CMN excision. The most common reasons for surgery were psychosocial determinants, aesthetic improvement, and melanoma risk reduction. The overall satisfaction with surgical management was good, although no predictors for satisfaction could be identified. Higher current age of the child was found to predict decision regret in proxy-reports. Most participants indicated that having a scar is more socially acceptable than a CMN. Opinions differed on whether surgery should be deferred until the child is old enough to be involved in the decision-making process.

CONCLUSIONS: Whether and when to perform surgery in children with CMN is a multifaceted question. Awareness of common concerns as well as risks and benefits of surgery are essential to ensure critical reflection and balanced decision-making.

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