Optimal management and challenges in treatment of upper facial melanoma

John P. Berdahl, Barbara A. Pockaj, Richard J. Gray, William J. Casey, John J. Woog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This study's purpose was to evaluate clinical and surgical outcomes in patients with upper facial melanoma. A sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy database review identified 43 patients receiving a diagnosis of upper facial melanoma between February 1997 and April 2005 at Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale. Patients underwent wide local excision (n = 40) or Mohs excision (n = 3) and SLN biopsy. Nine patients (21%) had positive margins requiring reexcision. SLN mapping identified the SLN in 39 patients (91%) and drainage to bilateral lymph node basins in 8 (21%). The SLN was positive for melanoma in 2 patients (5%). Recurrence in 33 patients with more than 1 year of follow-up (local in 5 [15%] and regional in 1 [3%]) was treated with salvage surgery; 1 patient developed metastatic disease. Two patients (5%) died, one of an unknown cause and the other of metastatic melanoma. We concluded that oncologic surgery can result in good local disease control in patients with upper facial melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-620
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Biopsy
  • Face
  • Melanoma
  • Recurrence
  • Sentinel lymph node
  • Wide local excision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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