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Oral Granular Cell Tumors Treatment & Management

  • Author: Steven Brett Sloan, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Feb 19, 2016

Medical Care

Treatment for granular cell tumors and congenital epulis is surgery. While extensive surgery is not indicated, recurrence of granular cell tumors has been reported several years after removal. Recurrence of congenital epulis has not been reported; however, the number of total cases is small. If congenital epulis is asymptomatic and surgery is deferred, the lesion may regress spontaneously.[18]


Surgical Care

Excision with a scalpel under local anesthesia is the preferred method; however, surgical margins are difficult to determine intraoperatively in the case of the granular cell tumor. Excision down to the periosteum usually is the goal for treating congenital epulis; however, recurrence does not seem to occur even if this lesion is not completely removed.



Advise the patient with routine postoperative precautions.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Steven Brett Sloan, MD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; Residency Site Director, Connecticut Veterans Affairs Healthcare System; Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University School of Medicine

Steven Brett Sloan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, Connecticut State Medical Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology;Up to Date;Medical Review Institute of America.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Drore Eisen, MD, DDS Consulting Staff, Department of Dermatology, Dermatology Research Associates of Cincinnati

Drore Eisen, MD, DDS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Academy of Oral Medicine, American Dental Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

James W Patterson, MD Professor of Pathology and Dermatology, Director of Dermatopathology, University of Virginia Medical Center

James W Patterson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American Society of Dermatopathology, Royal Society of Medicine, Society for Investigative Dermatology, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Robert Howell, DDS, MSD Professor, Department of Diagnostic Sciences, West Virginia University School of Dentistry

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Melinda Jen, MD Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Dermatology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Melinda Jen, MD, is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Clinical photograph of a granular cell tumor on the tongue of a 38-year-old man.
Granular cell tumor.
Congenital epulis.
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