The Mohs surgery is performed in stages. During the first stage, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic, then, the surgeon removes only the visible tumor with a small margin of healthy appearing tissue. The second stage involves the physician preparing the tissue for examination under the microscope to determine if any of the tumor remains, and if so, the exact location of that remaining cancerous tissue is marked.
During the periods of time in which Dr. Henry is examining the tissue, the patient will be able to wait in our comfortable, private waiting area for surgery patients. This process is repeated until there is no cancerous tissue left on the affected area. The entire process can take anywhere from two to four hours. By treating the tumor this way, the microscopic roots are made visible and can be removed in a conservative manner, preserving as much normal tissue as possible.
After your surgeon is confident that all of the cancer has been removed, the third process begins where together you and your doctor will determine how the wound will be repaired. In addition to removing skin cancer, Dr. Henry has specialized reconstructive surgery training for repairing the wound. This makes for a simple, quick and effective treatment for skin cancer removals at one convenient, comfortable location.
Patient Pre-operative Reminders for Mohs Surgery
Day of Surgery
Please prepare to be here most of the day. We ask that you do not have any other appointments the day of surgery due to not knowing the exact time you will be released. Some of your time with us may be spent waiting (processing tissue takes one to two hours). You may bring reading material, and we also have WI-FI if you’d like to bring your laptop. You will also need to have someone present to drive you home after your surgery.
You may eat breakfast the day of surgery. We have a coffee bar available in the waiting area. You may bring drinks (with lids)/a sack lunch/snacks in case you are here through lunch – they are allowed in waiting area but not in operating rooms. (If you are by yourself you may leave items at front desk while in surgery). If you bring a companion with you they may go to get you snacks or lunch from one of several eateries in the area since you are asked not to leave our clinic.
Dress warm and in comfortable clothing- we keep it very cold in our operating rooms. If your surgery is on an area that is covered by clothing, wear clothes that are easy to remove. Please avoid make-up, perfume and jewelry on day of procedure.
We ask that you stop taking Aspirin (that includes Naproxen, Aleve, Ibuprofen), one week prior to surgery and may start back on them two days after surgery UNLESS you have had a heart attack, heart surgery, stents placed, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, or stroke- please CONTINUE taking your aspirin. If needing to take something for pain pre and post we recommend Tylenol Extra Strength. If you are on Coumadin/Warfarin you will need your INR checked one week prior to surgery. Discontinue fish oils, Vitamin E, herbal supplements and multi-vitamins 10 days prior to surgery; you may start back on them two days after surgery. Please stay on all other prescription medications.
Plan to take it easy for one week after surgery (no heavy lifting or exercise). You will have a pressure bandage on for at least two days, or possibly a week that cannot get wet. Please plan accordingly. You will be able to drive afterward.
If you have an Advanced Directive (a legal document appointing someone who would make decisions for you in case you are not able), please bring the day of surgery.
Ambulatory Surgery Center
Depending on the complexity of the closure, the repair may be done in our Ambulatory Surgery Center, which is located in the same building.