Mohs Surgery Pre-Operation Instructions

  1. Please discontinue the following blood thinning medications and supplements 14 days prior to surgery unless you are a cardiac or stroke patient and your doctor prescribed the medication.
    • Coumadin / Warfarin
    • Ibuprofen
    • Plavix
    • Pradaxao Excedrino Garlic
    • Xarelto
    • Aspirin
    • Fish Oil
    • Vitamin E
    • Eliquis
    • Aleve
    • CoQ-10
    • Ginko Biloba
    • Red Yeast Rice
  2. Eat breakfast and bring a sack lunch/snack. You will need to remain in the office should your surgery go through the lunch or dinner hour.
  3. Take regularly prescribed medications the morning of the surgery, although aspirin and aspirin containing medications should not be taken 14 days prior to surgery unless you area cardiac or stroke patient and your doctor prescribed the aspirin.
  4. Remember to start antibiotics on time if you were instructed to do so.
  5. If your skin cancer is on your face, please do not wear any make-up.
  6. If you smoke tobacco, please stop for 2 days before the surgery and 7 days after the surgery.
  7. If you consume alcoholic beverages, please stop 14 days before and 2 days after surgery. This will help prevent complications of bleeding.
  8. We recommend a shower the evening or morning before surgery and freshly laundered clothes to help reduce the chance of getting an infection. Please wear something comfortable that allows for easy access to your surgery site.
  9. Please realize that you will probably be in our office for an extended period of time on your surgery day. For this reason, please bring any necessary medications with you if you need to take them throughout the day.
  10. On the day of your surgery we ask that you come to the appointment alone unless you require a caregiver.
  11. We recommend that you do not drive home and arrange for a ride home after your surgery.
  12. The initial removal of the tissue (skin cancer) takes less than 20-30 minutes. After removing the tissue, we will put a temporary dressing on the wound and show you to our waiting room. The tissue is then processed (put on slides). This can take one hour or longer. The doctor will review the slides under the microscope. If there are still skin cancer cells at the edge of what was removed, we will repeat the above procedure until all the skin cancer is gone. After all the skin cancer is gone the doctor will do reconstructive surgery if necessary. The reconstruction may take 45 minutes or longer. Waiting time depends not only on your own surgery but also on the other patients’ surgeries scheduled for that day. Waiting times can range anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. The doctor does the reconstruction (or closure of the wound) as patients scheduled that day clear (find no more skin cancer).
  13. You will leave the clinic with a bulky bandage which will need to stay in place (clean and dry) for 24-48 hours. These bandages may obscure your vision. This is another reason you should have a driver. Please consider this when scheduling your surgery.
  14. You should limit your activity (NO heavy lifting, NO exercising, NO activity that may raise your blood pressure, and NO swimming or hot tubs) for up to 2 weeks after your surgery. The length of time for these limitations varies depending on the extent and location of your surgery and may be shorter than 2 weeks. The Mohs staff will be able to give you more detailed, individualized instructions before you go home the day of surgery.
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