Preparing for Mohs Surgery

Mohs Surgery is a highly successful procedure designed to get rid of skin cancer while limiting the damage to healthy tissue. This procedure boasts the highest cure rate for many common forms of skin cancer and is used in instances in which the procedure must be performed on the face, neck or highly visible area of the body where scarring may be a cosmetic concern. It is also used for children with skin cancer and in instances when the cancer has a good chance of spreading to other areas. Talk to your doctor about Mohs Surgery to determine if the procedure is right for you.


Do not stop taking medications ordered and prescribed by a doctor prior to the procedure. This includes blood thinners such as aspirin. Bring a complete list of all medications that you are taking on the day of your surgery. In some cases, a blood study may be conducted about a week before the procedure, the results of which should be shared with the doctor or surgeon performing Mohs Surgery. However, you should stop taking over-the-counter medications not prescribed or ordered by your doctor including aspirin, ibuprofen and other supplements. This is intended to reduce your risk of bleeding. These medications should be stopped about a week to 10 days prior to the procedure. It is very important to follow your doctor's instructions regarding medication before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding and other complications.


You do not need to take antibiotics prior to Mohs Surgery, although they may be recommended about an hour prior to the procedure in certain situations:

• Patients who have had joint replacement surgery in the past year;
• Patients with artificial heart or heart valves;
• Patients with certain heart or heart valve problems.

Food and Beverage

You are encouraged to eat a normal breakfast before surgery. Many patients bring their lunch with them to the procedure or enjoy a snack prior to the procedure. This should be discussed with the doctor, however. Do not drink alcohol for about three days prior to and after Mohs Surgery. If the doctor recommends that you stop drinking alcohol sooner and refrain from drinking for more than three days after the procedure, then this is recommended. Alcohol may increase the risk of bleeding. Talk to your doctor for more information about preparing for your appointment. It is recommended that you follow his or her instructions to increase the chances of success and to reduce the risk of certain complications.

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