Before Mohs Surgery

Preparing for Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning it is performed in our clinic and requires no hospital stay. However, you should know a few things before you come in for your surgery appointment.

Chelsi Davis, Shundra Sawyer

Before Your Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery

Gather a list of your medications

Medications we need to know about include blood-thinning medications including aspirin, Plavix, and coumadin, immunosuppressing medications such as prednisone and methotrexate, and any antibiotics you may currently be taking. If you’re unsure, be sure to alert our staff so that we can assess further.  

Watch your herbal supplements

Your doctor may recommend you stop taking certain herbal supplements or vitamins before your surgery, as they increase the risk of bleeding. This often includes Ginkgo Biloba, vitamin E, vitamin C, fish oil, and ginseng.

The day before your surgery

Please (please!) avoid alcohol for at least 24-48 hours before your surgery.

The Day of Your Surgery

Shower or bathe

to minimize the risk of infection.

Avoid makeup

if your surgery is on your facial area.

Take all your scheduled prescribed medications

and bring them with you if necessary. You may continue to take aspirin and any other blood-thinning medications. Let your doctors know about your prescriptions.

Eat a good breakfast

and prepare to spend the day with us. Given the number and extent of the skin cancers being treated, you should plan on being at our office between 2-4 hours, and sometimes even longer for more invasive skin cancers. Please be aware that even though your skin cancer may not be very severe, the patient in the next room may have extensive skin cancer on a sensitive area (nose, ear, lip) that requires extra time and attention by the doctor. Dr. Mario spends whatever time is necessary with every patient, even if it causes delays. We do not cut corners or skimp on quality.

Wear comfortable clothing

that allows easy access to the area where you will be having surgery. Consider bringing a jacket or pullover sweater as the rooms can sometimes be cold. We do have blankets on hand to make you more comfortable.

Bring something to do

Mohs surgery can take several hours, and you will be awake while the area is anesthetized. Charge your phone, bring a book, or even bring a friend or relative with you for support. We do try to keep our clinic fully stocked with complimentary beverages and snacks!

Most importantly, we encourage you to communicate any concerns or questions before, during, and after your procedure. Anyone on our Southern Skies Dermatology and Surgery team will be happy to talk to you!