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Spider naevus on dd's face. Does anyone have any experience of laser removal

(21 Posts)
TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 10:49:30

My dd (7) has a spider naevus on her face. It is starting to make her a little self concious and she notices and mentions her 'nasty red spot'sad

We have been told it could possibly be removed with a laser. There is no way the NHS will fund this and we have to pay privately.

This is as far as we've got to date. We haven't been to see anyone privately yet. The cost is something we'll have to try and cover and that might take a bit of time to sort out.

Has anyone had this done either for themselves or a child?

As it's her face I'm concerned of course that it would be a perfect outcome. I don't want to risk replacing this with a horrible scar.

I feel so sorry about this for her, and wish I could make it vanishsad.

TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 11:22:41


sliceoflife Thu 23-Apr-09 11:23:47

My dd had one which appeared when she was about 4 and gradually got bigger until it was over 1.5cm.
Initially our GP was reluctant to do anything as they sometimes resolve spontaneously. But I took her back when she was 8 as she was fed up of people asking her what she had done to her face.

We were first refered to a local GP who specilaises in minor cosmetic procedures, he used something called a radio lase which involved a small needle being inserted into the skin and then super heated by microwave to seal the blood vessels. At first it looked as if it had worked, but over a few weeks it re vascularised and looked just the same.
He then recommended laser treatment, but it was not available in our area. Our case had to go to the local PCT exceptional treatments panel to decide if they would pay for it (our GP thought it would cost in the region of £1000 to go privately) Thankfully the PCT agreed to fund it, but we were prepared to go to appeal with the backing of our GP and the radio lase GP if necessary, woh both felt we had a reasonalbe case as it was staring to affect her confidence.

We were refered to DR Shean Dare at Leeds General Infirmary.

The procedure was very quick, and DD said it wasn't too painful.She was given goggles to wear, and I was allowed to stay with her.

The area came up in a bruise that lasted for about 2 weeks to heal fully. She was given a ice pack to hold over the area for about 20 minutes after the procedure. For the next two weeks she didn't go swimming or do PE as you have to be careful not to knock the area or immerse it in water. You also have to be extra careful about sun exposure for about 3 months as the area is more sensitive for a while.

The result was excellent, she maybe has a little more redness under the affected eye, but hardly noticabele. There is certainly no scaring of the skin. She is also more confident.

The whole process took us about 8 months from first visit to the gp to treatment, but several months of that was the unsucesfull radio lase treatment, (she had two treatments three weeks apart, plus appointments before and after, a total of 4 appointments)This was a far more painful procedure, but only realy sucesful on smaller lesions and thread veins.

The laser appointment was all done in a single visit.

The stupid thing is that our local private hospital has a machine, but the local PCT don't have a contract to refer patients locally so we had to travel about 60 miles to the nearest NHS machine.

My advice would be don't give up on the NHS funding until you have explored all options.
Our exceptional treatments panel only meets once a month and DD's case was considered in April 2008, we got treatment in June the same year.

Hope this helps.

CMOTdibbler Thu 23-Apr-09 11:29:18

My friends son has a big port wine stain birthmark, and has been having laser on it for 9 years. No scarring from it.

He has it done on the NHS at Great Ormond Street - friend had to fight for it, so may be worth pushing more

TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 11:45:20

Thank you both for replies.

Sliceoflife, that is a very intersting account. I took dd to the GP and we were given a consultation with a surgeon but he could only offer a needle treatment on the NHS. His words to me were 'If it were my daughter I'd want it done with a laser'

The surgery referred it to the PCT and they refused to fund laser treatment.

I am so angry and upset about it. I have no idea where to go with it from here tbh. Finding the money is going to be quite hard. Just an inital consultation will be expensive.

It is starting to affect her confidence and she is very aware of it. I put all this very strongly to the PCT in writing at the time, but that made no difference to them.

The GP that told me it had been refused said she couldn't see any point in my persuing an appeal and that private treatment was the only option left to usangry.

Mummyfor3 Thu 23-Apr-09 11:51:22

There is also "hyfrocation", a kind of freezining treatment for spider naevi.

Has you DD been seen by a consultant dermatologist yet? They may have something to offer as well.

BTW, here we have an all singing/all dancing laser - but no funding to train any staff to actually use it angryshocksad...

TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 11:53:21

The other thing that bothers me about the needle treatment offered is that apart from not giving a possibly poorer result than laser treatment, it would mean dd would have to have a general anaesthetic which I'd like to avoid where necessary.

I think an op with a GA, would also be more expensive to fund than the laser treatment, and yet they stil say no.

CMOTdibbler Thu 23-Apr-09 11:54:28

I think what my friend did was contact GOSH, and they told her how to appeal and get the treatment for her son.

Maybe the Birthmark Support Group would have some ideas ?

TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 11:58:01

Ah now I've not heard of the Mummyfor3. Thanks I'll ask about that too.

I knew there'd be more to this if I asked on mn than I've been told so far.

I feel I'm going to go back and make more of a nuisance of myself before I give up on this.

I feel quite angry for my dd that she's being bounced so quickly when she does have a very worthy case imo given her age.

TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 12:00:29

You're all being fantasticsmile. Thank you for that good suggestion too CMO.

I have to pop out but will revisit later. Very interested to hear any more suggestions or experiences.

sliceoflife Thu 23-Apr-09 12:34:52

I think you need to find out which PCT you come under and ask them for details of their appeals procedure.

The radio lase treatment we were offered initially did not need a general anaesthetic, but we were given some emla local anaesthetic cream to apply an hour before to numb the area.
As we had to go back for a second treatmetn DD got quite upset and found it painful.

Persuading her into the chair for the laser treatment was quite difficult but having got that far I was determined we were going to see it through (tough mummy!), the radiologist who did the treatment was excellent, kind but firm and obviously had experience of children, as oposed to the very nice but young SHO who was hardly out of medical school and all for cancelling the procedure at the first tear.

Afterwards DD's coment was 'that wasn't nearly a bad as the needle. I wouldn't have got so upset if I had known it would be that easy' Obviously the first failed treatment had upset her and I wish we had gone straight to the laser with hindsight.

alibobins Thu 23-Apr-09 12:41:57

Ds is having laser treatment tomorrow on several small growths on his face.
He is having under a general sad Ill let you know how it went.

TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 17:31:38

Good luck for tomorrow Ali. Do let us know how it goes.

I'm sure all will be well, but fingers X'd too for your ds.

candyfluff Thu 23-Apr-09 19:58:12

my dd has two of these on her face and is concious of them ,i didnt think anything would or could be done until she is an adult.

TsarChasm Thu 23-Apr-09 21:18:03

Just a quick bump for the evening crew.

VanillaPumpkin Thu 23-Apr-09 21:28:03

My daughter has one too, on her cheek bone, and it is definitely getting bigger sad. She has two little scars on the other cheek as well. She is thankfully oblivious at the moment as she is only 6, but people do ask me what she has done to her eye etc. This is interesting reading for me as I too was told it would go away on its own.....

alibobins Fri 24-Apr-09 18:58:34

Well Ds had the laser treatment today his face has got loads of big red dots all over and he's a little uncomfortablesad
We have to go back in 8 weeks to see if its worked.
The surgeon was quite positive so fingers crossed.

TsarChasm Sat 25-Apr-09 08:59:40

Ali..that sounds hopeful and now it's over at least.

How old is your ds? When they're a bit older I suppose they do understand why it's being done a little more.

It's horrible to see dc having things done in hospital even thoughsad it's for the best in the long run.

Hope he bounces back and it's all been a big big successsmile

alibobins Sat 25-Apr-09 11:08:04

He's 4.5
He's back to his normal self todaysmile the marks look like puple scabs today but he isn't in ant pain.
They were similar to a spider naevus but they grew out of the skin.
We were referred to a dermatologist who then referred us to the laser surgery.
Hope you sort something out soon.

realmummy Thu 13-Aug-09 00:10:04


ds has 6 on his face and one on his hand. Had him checked out with blood tests for liver problems,luckily ok.
Dermatologist tried to treat one of the bigger ones ( just under his eye ) with hyfrecation, but ds got very distressed and refused to have any more done.
I'm confused as the dermatologist says they will not go, and will only get bigger, but from what I read on the internet they can resolve themselves after several years.
He is 7 and the first one appeared when he was 2.
Any advice ?

BootleBumtrinket Tue 18-Aug-09 10:33:58

I developed one when I was about 7 or so. It did make me feel self conscious but did disappear by the time I was 14 ish. I think kids are more aware of appearance now and also if there are treatments available that are safe I think i would be tempted to try them.

They go but take a long time. Hope you find a happy resolution to this problem.

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