Subungual melanoma is a rare but lethal form of melanoma. Amputation at the level of the interphalangeal joint or proximal has been described as appropriate surgical management for all stages of subungal melanoma. In cases of subungual melanoma in situ (SMIS), wide local excision can improve functional and aesthetic outcomes. We reviewed our experience of wide local excision for the treatment of SMIS. Between 2003 and 2010, we treated 9 cases of SMIS. We performed a retrospective review of this series looking at the primary outcomes of recurrence or metastasis. Average age was 40 years (range, 5–65 years). Presenting lesions were on the thumb (5) and index finger (4). All patients underwent definitive reconstruction with a combination of full-thickness skin graft (8) and paronychial advancement flap (6). Reexcision was performed when disease-free margins could not be confirmed. To date, there have been no cases of metastasis or local recurrence in any of our 9 patients (mean follow-up time of more than 4 years). Wide local excision can improve functional and aesthetic outcomes with similar success in rates of local recurrence and metastasis when compared to treatment by amputation in SMIS.
From the *Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX; †Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and ‡Department of General Surgery, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.
Received October 2, 2012, and accepted for publication, after revision, December 18, 2012.
Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.
Reprints: Nicholas T. Haddock, MD, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern, 1801 Inwood, Dallas, TX 75930. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.