Mohs microscopic surgery is a half-day surgical procedure performed in our office. The site to be treated will be injected with a local anesthetic. The doctor will then remove a level of tissue from the affected area which will be examined in our in-office laboratory. If the tissue shows no residual cancer cells, the doctor will close the wound with sutures (or possibly discuss other options for healing) and you will be free to return home. However, if the specimen indicated the presence of cancer cells, an addition level of tissue will be taken and again analyzed. These steps are repeated until all the cancer cells are completely removed.
Each level of tissue is analyzed in our laboratory while you wait. This requires approximately 30 to 45 minutes per level. During this time, you will be comfortably seated in the suite 707 waiting room, so bring a good book or something to keep you occupied while you are waiting. Refreshments will be provided. Because you will be injected with a local anesthetic only, there are no dietary restrictions. We suggest that you have a light breakfast and take your usual medications, except for medications that may thin the blood (see next paragraph). Most patients can drive themselves home after the surgery. If the skin cancer is near the eye, please arrange for someone to drive you.
If you are taking any prescribed medications which may thin the blood (including aspirin, coumadin or warfarin), please call our office to talk to your dermatology doctor to discuss the possibility of discontinuing the blood-thinning medication. DO NOT STOP YOUR MEDICATION WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR’S PERMISSION.
If you take aspirin or Advil (ibuprofen) for aches and pains, please stop taking these for ten days prior to your surgery. You may, however, take Tylenol (acetaminophen) at any time. You will be able to restart aspirin or Advil 48 hours after your procedure.
You should plan to be in town for at least one week following your surgical procedure; sutures are usually removed one week after surgery on the face/head and two weeks for surgery on other parts of the body. You will be required to return to our office for surgical post-operative visits and suture removal.
You may discuss any additional questions regarding your surgery or any other issue concerning your treatment with your doctor.