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Here's How to Prepare for Mohs Surgery

Here's How to Prepare for Mohs Surgery

Doctors diagnose more than 5.3 million cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma in the United States every year. These cancers can appear anywhere on the body, but usually show up on places like the head and neck, which experience the most exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or indoor tanning beds. 

Mohs surgery is a technique that removes skin cancer one thin layer at a time. After each layer is removed, your doctor examines it under a microscope to look for signs of cancer. Layers continue to be removed until all signs of cancer are gone. Mohs surgery is valued by patients and doctors because it effectively removes skin cancer while sparing healthy tissue and minimizing scarring.

At The Aesthetic Surgery Center, Dr. Elliott H. Rose works with renowned Mohs surgery specialists in the area. Dr. Rose uses his experience and skills to close the wound and make sure you experience minimal scarring or damage to delicate features. 

Heading in for any surgery can make you feel a little anxious. Here’s how to prepare for your visit so you get the best results. 

About Mohs surgery

Mohs surgery occurs in stages, and you wait between each stage. The Mohs surgeon removes a layer of tissue and examines it under a microscope. If cancer cells are still present, your surgeon then removes another layer of tissue. This process continues until all signs of cancer are gone.

During surgery, your provider injects a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. You stay awake for the entire procedure. 

Once all signs of cancer cells are gone, Dr. Rose uses his skills to close the area with stitches. In some cases, the wound may need reconstruction with a skin flap or skin graft.

Some patients require follow-up care with Dr. Rose for repair of the wound. 

Preparing for Mohs surgery

Expect your procedure to take several hours, especially if it’s suspected more than one or two rounds of skin removal will be needed. Invest this time, however, because the precise treatment minimizes scarring while effectively removing all signs of cancer. 

Your surgical team will ask you to stop taking certain medications and supplements because certain types can cause increased bleeding after surgery. 

Plan on making Mohs surgery your only task for the day. In most cases, Mohs surgery takes four hours or less, but it’s important to have the flexibility to stay longer if needed. 

Dress in comfortable clothes. Choose layers, because the room temperature may vary. 

Bring entertainment. Because there is a lot of wait time during Mohs surgery, you’ll want a book or your phone to entertain you. 

Most patients don’t need to fast before surgery. Eat beforehand so you’re satisfied. Of course, if your surgical team asks you not to eat, follow their recommendations.

If you suspect you have skin cancer, call the Aesthetic Surgery Center today. We can put you in touch with the experts we work with to successfully treat you with Mohs surgery. Dr. Rose will also offer his skills if you need special care during or after your procedure. Please call our office or use the online tool to schedule your virtual or in-office appointment.

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