Mohs Surgery

Mohs Surgery

Smiling senior coupleFor certain types of skin cancer, Mohs Micrographic Surgery provides up to a 99% cure rate.

Skin cancer is one of the most common and rapidly increasing forms of cancer. More than a million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015.

However, when detected early skin cancer is not necessarily life threatening or disfiguring. There are several effective forms of treatment available today, including Mohs Micrographic Surgery, which provides a 99% cure rate for some forms of skin cancer.

What is Mohs?

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a highly specialized treatment for skin cancer. Mohs involves the complete removal of the diseased tissue and the immediate microscopic examination of the surgical margins. This precise method allows the physician to identify if there are any remaining cancer cells and where they are located. The procedure is repeated until the cancer is completely removed. Surgical wounds are usually repaired on the same day as the procedure.

Mohs offers patients the highest available cure rate for skin cancer while preserving as much surrounding skin as possible.

What to Expect

Prior to your surgery:

To prevent blood thinning prior to your surgery, please stop taking any aspirin or aspirin containing products for at least seven (7) days prior to your procedure. Aspirin containing products, include Bufferin, Ascriptin, Excederin, Alka-Seltzer and other pain and headache remedies, should also be stopped.  Pease call our office if you are not sure if your medication contains aspirin. If your doctor has prescribed aspirin for a medical condition, please call our office and talk with a nurse prior to stopping the medication.

Also note that many medications for arthritis, both prescription and over-the-counter, can thin the blood. You should stop taking these medications five (5) days prior to the surgery.

Avoid any beverages with alcohol for 2-3 days before surgery. Alcohol can also thin the blood prior to surgery.

If you need to be pre-medicated prior to the procedure, please let us know. You will be provided a prescription. This is especially important for patients that must take antibiotics prior to surgery.

Also make sure to have someone who can drive you home after the procedure.  Sometimes, even with a minor procedure, a patient will not feel up to driving. Additionally, if your cancer is anywhere near the eye area, swelling can occur rapidly and obscure vision. Finally, note that any patient receiving anti-anxiety medication in office is not legally allowed to drive home. Thus, we strongly encourage you to have someone with you on the day of the procedure.

If you are unable to keep the scheduled surgery appointment, please contact our office as soon as possible and be sure to specify that you need to reschedule or cancel your surgery appointment.

On the day of your surgery:

On the morning of your procedure, eat your normal breakfast or lunch and take your normal prescribed medication unless otherwise discussed. Wear comfortable clothing, and bring something to keep warm as our office can be very cold. We ask that you wear a two-piece outfit since it will be necessary for you to remove your blouse or shirt and put on a gown.  Make sure that your shirt buttons in the front and does not slip over your head.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

After the Surgery:

If your surgery is for the removal of skin cancer, you should plan to spend time waiting for laboratory results.  Sometimes the surgery can be more extensive than anticipated and may take a good part of the day. Expect to spend 3-4 hours in the office.

Due to limited waiting room space, you may only have one (1) person with you on the day of surgery.  This will help ensure your comfort as well as the comfort of the other patients.

Do not apply any make up to the affected area on the day of the procedure.

You can also download these instructions here.