Frequently Asked Questions
Morning of Mohs surgery
On the morning of surgery, wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. You may want to bring a sweater or jacket for your comfort as the temperature in the office is often quite cool. If the site to be treated on your face or neck, please do not wear make-up, perfume or jewelry in these areas.
- On the day of surgery, we suggest you eat a full breakfast because it is possible that you may be in our office for several hours.
- In most cases patients are able to drive themselves home after surgery. However, in certain circumstances, such as around the eyes, it may be helpful to arrange a ride to and from the office or have a companion accompany you to keep you company in the reception area.
- If not completed in advance, upon arrival at our office you will be asked to complete a medical history form. It may be helpful to bring a list of medications, allergies, past medical problems and treatment in addition to information regarding medical problems that run in your family.
- On the day of surgery, you should take ALL medications prescribed by your doctors. If you are currently taking prescription or over the counter blood thinning medications continue to take all medications through the day of surgery. The risk of side effects from stopping these medications is higher than the small increased risk of bleeding or bruising during or after surgery. Please contact our office prior to your appointment if you have any questions about your medications.
- Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 24 hours before surgery and for 48 hours after surgery since this can thin your blood.
- Smoking before or after surgery can lead to complications. Minimize smoking prior to and after surgery if possible. It is best not to smoke at all during this time.
After checking in with the front desk, you will be brought back to the surgery room by a surgical assistant. Dr. Braza will meet with you to discuss in detail the procedure and the risks and benefits associated with it. Photographs will be taken, and we will obtain written consent for the procedure. You are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have prior to starting. Once all your questions are answered, we will anesthetize (numb) the area around the skin cancer. Once anesthetized, the visible cancer and a thin layer of tissue around the cancer will be removed. The tissue will be taken to our in-office CLIA certified lab where the technician will immediately process the tissue to make microscopic slides. You will have a temporary dressing placed over the wound, and you will return to the reception area. Then, Dr. Braza will examine the specimen under the microscope to determine if the cancer has clear margins and edges. This process usually takes about an hour. If the cancer remains, Dr. Braza will again remove more tissue in the precise area where the cancer is located. You will again be escorted to the reception area while the tissue processes. This same process will continue until the cancer is clear.
Once the cancer is fully removed, Dr. Braza will determine the most appropriate plan for reconstruction of the open wound. This most likely will involve suturing the area which helps minimize scarring as well as helps maintain the shape and contour of the area treated.
Once sutured, a pressure bandage will be placed over the area and verbal and written instructions will be given to you about wound care for your recovery at home.
To help in achieving the best possible outcome, please follow our wound care instructions carefully. Your wound will require care during the days following the surgery. The type of care will depend on how the wound is repaired on the day of surgery. Verbal and detailed written instructions will be provided but you are always welcome to contact our office should you have any additional questions or problems. You should plan to avoid physical activity such as bending, straining, lifting and exercise for at least 4-5 days after surgery. Please arrange your schedule in advance to avoid these activities. Do not drink alcoholic beverages 48 hours after surgery since this can thin your blood. Smoking after surgery can lead to complications. It is best not to smoke at all during this time. You will need to be seen in the office in about 7 days following surgery for suture removal and a post-op check.
Call the office if you have:
Fever, extreme or a significant increase in pain, or pus draining after surgery. Clear yellow/orange drainage is normal; thick cloudy drainage needs to be evaluated.