Oral Neurofibroma Follow-up

  • Author: Indraneel Bhattacharyya, DDS, MSD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Sep 04, 2015

Further Outpatient Care

Solitary neurofibromas are treated by surgical excision and exhibit very low recurrence. The patient should be instructed to report any new growth seen in the area or any abnormal sensations, such as tingling. These signs may signify a recurrence, and lesions may require repeat excision.



No special precaution is recommended for prevention of recurrence. Surgical excision is usually curative.



A possible, although extremely rare, complication may be recurrence of the lesion. Other potential complications that may be seen are purely associated with surgical treatment and may include scarring and numbness.



Solitary neurofibromas have a good prognosis, with only rare instances of local recurrence after excision. However, in neurofibromatosis, a larger proportion of patients develop recurrence after excision, and multiple recurrences are associated with malignant transformation. Spontaneous malignant transformation of 1 or more lesions is also reported. The rate of transformation is estimated to be 5-15%. This neurofibrosarcomatous change has an extremely poor prognosis, and distant metastasis is common. The average 5-year survival rate is dismal and ranges around 10-15%. A study involving 66 cases of head and neck neurofibromas reported that no recurrence of the neurofibromas was detected after surgical removal in approximately 33% of the patients during follow-up ranging from 3-230 months.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Indraneel Bhattacharyya, DDS, MSD Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences, Director of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Residency Program, University of Florida College of Dentistry

Indraneel Bhattacharyya, DDS, MSD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American Dental Association, International Association for Dental Research, International Association of Oral Pathologists, American Association for Dental Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Donald Cohen, DMD, MS Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences, University of Florida College of Dentistry

Donald Cohen, DMD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Neil Shear, MD Professor and Chief of Dermatology, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Pharmacology, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine; Head of Dermatology, Sunnybrook Women's College Health Sciences Center and Women's College Hospital, Canada

Neil Shear, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Canadian Medical Association, Ontario Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Dermatology Association, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Intrabony presentation of neurofibroma. Note the extensive bone destruction caused by the lesion.
Multiple neurofibromas on the tongue.
Solitary neurofibroma on the hard palate.
An 11-year-old girl with an asymptomatic raised lesion on the anterior mandibular gingiva.
Isolated palatal lesion in a 27-year-old African American woman.
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