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J Craniofac Surg. 2015 Jul;26(5):1611-2. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000001779.

Circular Excision and Purse-String Closure for Pediatric Facial Skin Lesions.

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Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.


Standard resection of pediatric facial skin lesions consists of lenticular excision and linear closure. This one-stage procedure for circular lesions results in a linear scar 3 times longer than the diameter of the removed specimen. Circular excision and purse-string closure has been described for infantile hemangiomas to reduce the length of scar. The purpose of this study was to analyze the application of this technique for any type of circular facial skin lesion in the pediatric population. Records of consecutive pediatric patients with facial skin lesions treated with circular excision and purse-string closure from 2007-2014 were reviewed. Patient age, sex, type of lesion, location, and size were recorded. Number of stages necessary to remove the area and complications were analyzed. Seventy-seven children (74% female) underwent circular excision and purse-string closure for an infantile hemangioma (46%), pigmented nevus (27%), Spitz nevus (7%), pilomatrixoma (5%), pyogenic granuloma (5%), vascular malformation (4%), or another type of skin lesion (6%). Age at the time of resection was 6.0 years (range 4 months-17 years) and mean lesion area was 3.9  cm (range 0.2-19.6); 30% of patients underwent a second procedure and no infection or wound dehiscence occurred. Circular excision and purse-string closure is an effective technique to manage any type of circular skin lesion in the pediatric population. It is particularly useful for lesions on the face because it limits the length of a scar. A subset of patients may benefit from second procedure to convert the circular scar from a circle into a line.

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