Combining lasers with surgical excision produces cosmetically superior results compared to laser-only treatments for small to medium congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN), according to a new review.

The report appears in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM). It was selected as Editor’s Choice in the January 2019 issue of LSM.

Researchers retrospectively reviewed 119 cases of small to medium-sized CMN. Treatment options were categorized into four groups: (i) Excision only; (ii) Excision followed by scar laser; (iii) Excision followed by pigment-specific laser; and (iv) Laser only.

For the treatment of small to medium-sized CMN, treatment strategies including surgical methods are cosmetically superior to laser-only treatment. Also, the combination of surgical excision with scar laser has the potential for better clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. 

“This large-scale retrospective review about treatment options for small to medium congenital melanocytic nevi may give reassurance to clinicians seeking the best option for their patient, as large-scale assessments have never been made in this field,” says study author Jung Min Lim, MD of the Department of Dermatology, at Gangnam Severance Hospital’s Cutaneous Biology Research Institute at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, in a news release. “It strongly supports the efficacy of surgical excision, which showed better cosmetic outcomes, while suggesting the need for improvement in laser-based treatment strategies. “

This review also promises the potential of combining scar lasers with surgical excision, which showed superior outcomes along with increased patient satisfaction, she shares. “As various tools for treatment are constantly being developed, the comparison of different treatment strategies in a large scale will benefit the clinician in their daily practice.”