When you arrive for surgery, we have three main goals. We will keep you comfortable, we will completely remove your tumor, and we will leave you with the least amount of scarring possible. Our dedicated team of medical professionals are here to answer questions, offer a helping hand, and serve you with a supportive and kind spirit.
On surgery day, please bring your insurance cards and any other information requested in the preoperative instructions to prevent any delay in your surgery. You are welcome to bring up to two friends or family members with you on the day of your surgery. You will be admitted in our operatory suite and your family member will have an opportunity to wait for you in our waiting room. Please note, you must have a driver available after your surgery. Please plan to be at our office for approximately 3-4 hours. This does not mean that you will be in surgery the entire time.
You may be given sedation (either oral or IV) and then we will anesthetize (numb) the area surrounding the skin cancer with a small local injection; usually similar to the one you received for your biopsy. During Mohs surgery, we process tissue from the surgical site which takes 45 minutes to an hour. When that process is complete, the tissue is analyzed under a microscope. If no cancer is remaining, the area is repaired. If the tissue shows roots of cancer extending through the margin, a second portion of the tissue will be taken for analysis. This process is repeated until all the margins are cleared. This method ensures that all of the cancer cells are removed; diminishing the chance of a recurrence.
After the skin cancer has been completely removed, the surgeon will determine the best method for treating the wound. These methods include letting the wound heal by itself, closing the wound in a side-to-side fashion with stitches, closing the wound with a skin graft or flap, or smoothing down the edges of the area without any stitches. In most cases, the best method is determined on an individual basis after the final defect is known. We will make every effort to obtain optimal cosmetic results, but our primary goal is to remove the entire tumor. Mohs surgery will leave you with the smallest wound, thus creating the best opportunity for optimal cosmetic results.
Your surgical wound will require care during the weeks following surgery. Strenuous physical activity is not advised for at least 72 hours, and in some cases, for up to two weeks depending on the size and location of your cancer. You will receive postoperative instructions before you leave our office.