What is Congenital birth mark?

A birth mark is usually a skin anomaly formed from abnormal pigment cells, a vascular phenomenon or disorders of embryological development.

What are the non-surgical and surgical options available?

Non-surgical interventions such as laser or interventional radiological procedures are occasionally more appropriate than surgery. The natural history of some birth marks (such as haemangiomas) is that they naturally regress. It is essential therefore to make the correct diagnosis before undertaking correction, which may be unnecessary in the long term. Removal of birthmarks is usually undertaken with a view to either direct closure, staged removal (a number of small operations) or tissue expansion reconstruction.

How long do the results last for?

The aim of surgical interventions is to ensure the results are resistant to child growth and changes during puberty and into adulthood; although occasionally, problems need to be treated repeatedly.

What are the risks?

Recurrence of a problem because of incomplete treatment, growing out of the results or simple recurrence are always risks and are dependent on the underlying diagnosis. Any scar can become unfavourable, especially if healing is complicated or prolonged. Hypertrophic or keloid scars are more common in certain skin types, whilst infection and bleeding are risks of any surgery. Scars can become tender where previously they were not and there is always the small risk of making things worse or of not meeting expectations.

What are the success rates?

The aim of reconstruction is to remove the birthmark whilst maintaining symmetry and in that sense the success rate is high. Exact symmetry is difficult to achieve as the body is naturally asymmetric.

How much does the surgery cost?

The indicative prices below include the surgical fee, any anaesthetic used and the associated fees from the consultant administering this, in addition to the hospital fee and all tests and follow up. An accurate breakdown and a detailed quote will be given following the initial consultation.

From £1,500 for the removal of a birth mark under local anaesthetic

What general advice is there?

Cosmetic abnormalities in children are normally best addressed when the child vocalises a concern with the affected area. Scar management is essential to optimise results and is beneficial for at least a year following surgery.