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Surgical Technique
July 2001

Treatment of Head and Neck Melanoma, Lentigo Maligna SubtypeA Practical Surgical Technique

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Anderson, Baker, and Johnson), Dermatology (Drs Lowe, Su, and Johnson), Pathology (Drs Lowe and Su), and Surgery (Dr Johnson), University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor.

 

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Anderson, Baker, and Johnson), Dermatology (Drs Lowe, Su, and Johnson), Pathology (Drs Lowe and Su), and Surgery (Dr Johnson), University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor.

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2001;3(3):202-206. doi:
Abstract

Melanoma with the lentigo maligna histological pattern often provides a significant and difficult challenge to the head and neck surgeon. The lentigo maligna subtype is the most common type of melanoma on the head and neck. This potentially lethal form of cancer is associated with greater nonvisual lesional extension that is often not clinically apparent. Failure to excise the entire lesion results in a higher risk of local recurrence and a poorer prognosis. The staged excision technique described herein results in histological interpretation of 100% of the peripheral margins using formalin-fixed vertical sections. Definitive local excision and soft tissue reconstruction are performed in a subsequent stage, with an assurance that 100% of the peripheral margins have been evaluated and interpreted as free of disease.

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