Melanoma & Pigmented Lesion Clinic

The Melanoma & Pigmented Lesion Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive, interdisciplinary care for benign and malignant pigmented lesions in children.


We provide a comprehensive, collaborative team approach to the diagnosis and management of pigmented lesions in children, and we are committed to a family-centered, comprehensive approach to achieve the best possible clinical outcomes and quality-of-life for the children we treat. Our goal is simple: To provide state-of-the-art team care that is seamless for our patients and families and to ensure the best possible results.

Our innovation and expertise goes beyond to include being home to one of the largest and most active tissue banks in the country. Our bank is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and allows us to be a leader in helping our patients and other institutions around the county to improve the ability to diagnose, treat and ultimately prevent the disease.

Multidisciplinary Team

Our comprehensive team is comprised of experts from multiple specialties including:

  • Hematology/Oncology/BMT – Mark Ranalli, MD is a member of the division of Hematology/ Oncology/ Bone Marrow Transplantation. His clinical areas of expertise include the management of melanoma and pre cancerous skin lesions in pediatric patients. In addition to assisting the team with the initial diagnostic and staging evaluations, he directs the non surgical management of melanoma.
  • Pediatric Surgery – As the pediatric surgical oncologist, Jennifer Aldrink, MD, evaluates the skin lesion of concern, and performs a wide local excision and a sentinel lymph node biopsy as indicated. These therapies are offered for melanoma and considered for certain other lesions of concern. In coordination with the appropriate team members, she follows patients on a routine basis to ensure there is no evidence of local or distant recurrences.
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Richard Kirschner, MD, FAAP, FACS and Gregory Pearson, MD have expertise in the removal of pigmented lesions and in complex reconstruction. Using specialized surgical techniques, including microsurgery and tissue expansion, our plastic surgeons work with the other members of the team to ensure the best cosmetic and functional results.
  • Pathology – Our pathologists have expertise in microscopic evaluation of skin lesions and routinely work closely with dermatopathologists for complex lesions.
  • Nuclear Medicine/Radiology – Our nuclear medicine radiologists have expertise in mapping of sentinel lymph nodes in pediatric patients.  Using advanced imaging techniques, the sentinel lymph node(s) can be translated to a CT scan to help with surgical planning.
  • Dermatology – Dr. Esteban Fernandez-Faith and Dr. Patricia Witman have expertise in Dermatology. The role of the Dermatology team in the Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Clinic includes evaluation of pigmented lesions, with biopsy or excision when appropriate. The team also performs regular skin checks and education for patients with history of atypical pigmented lesions or melanoma.
  • Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery – Kris Jatana, MD, a pediatric head and neck surgeon has expertise in sentinel lymph node biopsy as well as comprehensive lymph node removal from the head and neck regions, with the goal of preservation of important nerves and blood vessels. He is actively involved in research to identify and characterize circulating tumor cells from head and neck tumors.

Patient Stories

Valerie's Story

Valerie and her mom share how Nationwide Children's helped her beat cancer.

Valerie's doctors discuss her treatment for melanoma.

Inside the Melanoma & Pigmented Lesion Clinic

Conditions We Treat

  • Atypical Melanocytic Lesions
  • Atypical Skin Lesion
  • Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevi
  • Other Cutaneous Malignancies
  • Pediatric Melanoma
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