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Putting my little boy "under the knife" - Am I vain? or Am I protecting him from bullying?

(66 Posts)
Cucci Tue 01-Apr-08 10:20:20

DS1 was born with a sebaceous nevus on his head which basically looks like a bald patch right on the crown and is the size of a 2 pound coin. There will never be any hair there and his hair has grown around it instead of over it. (It looks like alopecia)

He is 3 in June and every now and again he asks "whats that mummy?". Anyone who meets him for the first time is always compelled to ask me what it is. I suppose its starting to become an issue of sorts.

I went to see a Consultant who has said that it could be reduced by 80% with a small Op, but this would involve General anaesthetic. The downside is that the Operation is better the younger he is because the elasticity of the skin makes the Op more successful. So he will have this Op before he is 5.

The only reason for getting this done is vanity - there is no medial reason but I am worried that he will be picked on because of it and kids can be so cruel. If I leave it and just think that its part of him he could them blame me for not sorting it out when he's older.

I know its my decision but I would welcome any thoughts - thank you.

WendyWeber Tue 01-Apr-08 10:23:50

Oh, Cucci, what a hard decision sad

Did you ask the consultant if he would do the op if it was his child?

MotherFunk Tue 01-Apr-08 10:25:55

Message withdrawn

goingfor3 Tue 01-Apr-08 10:29:18

If it's an issue and you are fequently asked what it is then yes I would have the op done. You may find that as he grows up he likes it because it gives him individuality or her hates it and contantly tries to cover it.

Celery Tue 01-Apr-08 10:29:59

I would have it done. I don't think the impact of negative comments from people, teasing and potentially bullying in years to come can be underestimated. As I see it, it's not vanity, it is helping to protect him and acheive the happiest childhood he can have. Whilst it is important to teach children that everyone is different, and being different is okay, at certain stages of childhood, the emphasis seems to be to fit in and be the same as everyone else. Like you say, children can be cruel, and I would certainly want to protect my children from that.

mumblechum Tue 01-Apr-08 10:29:59

I'd go for it. Better now than later, by the sound of it.

morningpaper Tue 01-Apr-08 10:30:06

What is the op? Hair transplant from lower down on the head? Or moving over the skin that is there?

What would happen when normal alopaecia sets in? Will it recede naturally? (Is there a tendency to baldness in the family?)

gonaenodaethat Tue 01-Apr-08 10:31:00

My 5yr old daughter has a 5p sized one of these on her head. My understanding is that they increase in nodularity around puberty and for that reason they usually remove them before then. Usually around 9 or 10 when they can cope with a local anaesthetic.
I've also read that there is a very small risk of malignant change in adulthood.
I would talk to the consultant again and would probably be tempted to go ahead with the op.

mrsbabookaloo Tue 01-Apr-08 10:31:30

Hi Cucci, I was born with the same thing, and I wouldn't see any need to operate on it except for the fact that you said it's on his crown. This means it's always visible, whereas mine is on the side of my head and hair has always grown down to cover it. It's also always been more normal for me to have long or longish hair, as I am a girl (sorry for steroetpye!).

In fact I DID have an operation on mine in the end, because when I was about 12, it started growing and changing and becoming more of a mole type thing, and the doctors said I should have it off (sorry, am a bit hazy on the details). I now have a long scar instead of round bald patch, but all covered by hair. I don't know what the likelihood of same thing happening to your ds is if you leave it.
Anyhoo, in short, although it IS just vanity, I wouldn't blame you for wanting to reduce it in order for him to have an easier time of it growing up, as long as risks of operation are minimal.


serenity Tue 01-Apr-08 10:31:55

It's difficult without seeing it, but if it is that noticeable, and you are worried about bullying - or even issues of self confidence tbh than I would do it. I would say though that both my DSs have had GA for various reasons and have been totally fine with it, so I wouldn't be as worried about that aspect as I'm sure you are.

micegg Tue 01-Apr-08 10:33:10

No I don't think you are being vain. You are just trying to protect your little boy from being picked on in later life. Whether he will or not will depend on him and how he deals with it and who comes across. Personally, if it were DD I would weigh up the risks (must be very low) and would probably get it done. I would hate for her to ask me in years to come why I didn't have it sorted when the opportunity was there. It's a tricky one though with no right or wrong answer. It may also depend on the personality of the child. DD is quite sensitive so I dont think she would deal with this well.

gonaenodaethat Tue 01-Apr-08 10:33:24

Cucci, sorry just read that back and didn't mean to be alarmist. It is a very small risk apparently and only in adulthood.

Youcannotbeserious Tue 01-Apr-08 10:34:12

Oh, I do feel for you.

Personally, though, I think it's worth it.

I agree with MotherFunk - kids will always find something to 'pick on' if they really want to, but given that this op will become more and more difficult / less successful with time, then I would go for it.

I broke my nose as a teenager and dallied about a nose job.... Now I'm mid 30s (shock) I'm not bothered about it anymore, but, given the choice again, I'd JUMP at the chance to have it done straight away

(And, this is just for me - I've never really been 'picked on' because of it, though my nickname at school was Linekar, because I was good at footie and had a bog nose!!) grin

I would have it done too, school is difficult enough without having to deal with something that is correctable. It must be a hard decision, no-one wants their child to undergo "unnecessary" GA. Definitely the right thing to do in my opinion though, you'll be saving him a lot of grief in the long term.

Threadworm Tue 01-Apr-08 10:37:14

I suffered badly from alopecia as an adolescent and I know how cruel children can be and how hurtful it was.

On the other hand, this is a small, unchanging patch that can be much more easily coped with that the unpredictable patches of alopecia. From my own experience I would guess that your son would learn to cope with it very well.

That's not to say you shouldn't go for the op. The doctor probably wouldn't offer it as an option if s/he thought the risks were out of proportion to the benefits.

But if you do decide to leave it, I'm sure your son will adapt to the comments and come to think very little of his bald patch. smile

windygalestoday Tue 01-Apr-08 10:40:24

our son aged 14 was born (after induction,ventuose,forceps,epesiostomy and eventual caesarian) with what at the time appeared to cover 50% of his scalp of tissu trum its all bumpy and looks burnt (it was over enegetic use of the ventuose we think)hair never grows on it except sometimes frazzled wiry strand...people have commented upon it even a teacher suggested it ws an infantile burn........hs 14 now and has his head has gotten bigger the mark is smaller when people s what it is (if they see it cos he is rather tall) he says its a birthmark......i never realised there was an op to get rid of it,its too late now he wouldnt have it but i dont know if id hve known if id have opted for it for vanity?

i would opt for the chance to remove the forceps scar that was dangerously close to his eye tho sad

MotherFunk Tue 01-Apr-08 10:41:22

Message withdrawn

windygalestoday Tue 01-Apr-08 10:41:24

tissue trauma = tissu trum lol -dodgy keyboard

Cucci Tue 01-Apr-08 10:57:08

Really useful - thanks everyone.

The Op I believe will be stretching the skin to close it over.

gonaenodaethat - no worries and have discussed this with the cons.

I think I am going to go ahead with it - I just need to get my head arounf the GA. sad

Seabright Tue 01-Apr-08 10:59:31

YANBU, you're trying to look ahead and look out for him. If you do it now the chances are he'll never remember musch about it whereas if you wait until he's 9-10 he'll remember and he'll also have to explain to friends what's going on (unless you are lucky enough to get it scheduled in summer holidays) thereby drawing attention to the very thing you don't want attention drawn to.

blueshoes Tue 01-Apr-08 11:33:42

Cucci, I would get it done.

Little children bounce back from surgery so quickly and don't have all that adult angst - says me who had a dd undergo open heart surgery. They just want to get on with playing asap.

OrmIrian Tue 01-Apr-08 11:37:11

Get it done. In his teenage years not wanting to look different is more than simply 'vanity' - it's self-preservation. Speaking as someone who had terrible skin as a teen I'd have submitted to any kind of op to make things better.

lollipopmother Tue 01-Apr-08 13:20:34

I'd get it done for sure. IMO we now live in a world where everyone is judged by what they look like, whether people want to believe it or not, and the op sounds like it will be a small one so I'd just go for it.

FluffyMummy123 Tue 01-Apr-08 13:21:29

Message withdrawn

3NAB Tue 01-Apr-08 13:21:37

I would do it.

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