Neurofibromatosis is a rare genetic disorder that affects the growth of nerve cells, resulting in the formation of benign tumors on the nerve tissue. Though symptoms vary, the tumors may affect the function of the nervous system, as well as appearance. Chelsea Snider, MD, at Vida Bela Plastic Surgery in Plano, Texas, is an experienced adult and pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in the surgical treatment of neurofibromatosis. To schedule a consultation and discuss your surgical options, call the office or use the online booking tool.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue. Often diagnosed in childhood, it may affect any part of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.
In most cases, the tumors are benign. However, the tumors may lead to other health complications such as pain, itching, bleeding, deformities, hearing loss, or vision loss. Additionally, large plexiform neurofibromas may become malignant.
There are three types of neurofibromatosis (NF). Each type presents with varying signs and symptoms.
The types include:
Signs and symptoms of NF1 typically appear at birth or shortly thereafter. With NF1, your child may have light brown spots on their skin, small bumps under the skin, learning disabilities, or bone deformities.
NF2 is less common than NF1 and causes the development of tumors in the ears that may lead to hearing loss. The tumors tend to present during adolescence or early adulthood.
Schwannomatosis is the rarest type of neurofibromatosis and generally presents in people during their 20s. It causes tumors to grow on the cranial, spinal, or peripheral nerves, and can be painful.
Dr. Snider specializes in the surgical management of neurofibromatosis, and you can expect a compassionate and comprehensive evaluation when you come to her office seeking help.
Whether she’s assessing you or your child, Dr. Snider asks detailed questions about symptoms, medical and family history, and then performs a physical exam.
Diagnostic imaging may be requested so Dr. Snider can determine the exact location and size of the tumor.
Dr. Snider develops an individualized treatment plan for neurofibromatosis based on the location and size of the tumors, as well as the severity of symptoms. She can remove tumors from anywhere on the body, focusing on tumors that affect the peripheral nerves.
Her surgical approach may include extensive surgical removal through surgical excision and/or electrodessication.
Surgical excision is the most common procedure for the removal of medium to large neurofibromatosis tumors that occur on the skin or in underlying tissue. Dr. Snider can excise numerous tumors in a single stage so that you get the best result in the fewest operations.
For patients with multiple small pinpoint tumors from NF1, Dr. Snider may suggest electrodessication. A newer approach to treatment, electrodessication uses an electric current that dessicates the tumor. Dr. Snider can treat numerous tumors of a certain size using this technique.
Neurofibromatosis is no longer an untreatable condition. To schedule a consultation with the plastic and reconstructive expert at Vida Bela Plastic Surgery, call the office or book online today.