Mohs Surgery Post-Op Info
For a list of frequently asked questions, please click here. The following are some of the basic concepts regarding your skin surgery aftercare.
1. Practice good hand hygiene – always wash your hands thoroughly with a diluted antibacterial soap (Hibiclens™ is good example of such a soap) before changing the dressing or touching your wound to apply medication. It is also important to wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom. Take your antibiotics as directed until they are finished!
2. You can expect some bruising and swelling after your skin surgery. Apply ice packs for 5-10 minutes out of each hour directly over the bandage site while you’re awake to reduce swelling and discomfort.
3. Please keep your surgical site elevated as much as possible. Relaxing in a recliner or sleeping on a couple of extra pillows at nighttime may be helpful to reduce swelling and pain.
4. Swelling is usually worse in the morning when you wake up. Don’t get too concerned about this unless there is fever and pain at the site that does not improve during the day.
5. You can expect some discomfort when your local anesthesia wears off. Take your prescribed or over the counter pain medications for this purpose. Call our office if the medication does not take the edge off. Too much pain can raise your blood pressure and increase your chances for bleeding.
6. Leave your pressure dressing on for a full 2 days after your surgery and don’t get this wet during this 2-day period.
7. After 2 days, you may gently remove the pressure dressing and get your surgery site wet. Let a mild soap and water run over the wound site. DO NOT USE A WASHCLOTH OR SCRUB THE AREA.
8. After wetting the area with a shower or bath, you may gently pat the wound dry and then apply a thin layer of vaseline or Aquaphor™ to the surgery site. Keep the wound covered. If steri strips are in place, you can place the topical ointment over the strips. Try not to remove your steri-strips. If they come off unintentionally, you can choose to replace them but it is critical not to intentionally remove these.
9. Remember to keep the wound moist with ointment! Keep the wound covered with a Band-Aid or gauze dressing day and night until you return to our office.
10. DO NOT do any bending over, stooping or lifting for the first 2 days after your surgery. Bending and lifting heavy items increases the blood pressure and may increase your risk for bleeding. You shouldn’t lift anything heavier than a remote control or fork for the first 48 hours after your surgery. Also make sure to refrain form heavy bending or lifting for at least two weeks after your surgery. You may need to take off from work for 2 to 7 days so make these arrangements ahead of time. Also, please try too avoid unnecessary travel for at least two weeks after your procedure. We want to be able to take care of you in case there is a complication.
11. If your pressure dressing becomes saturated with blood, try firm pressure and an ice pack for 30 minutes. If this does not slow down the bleeding, then contact our office or proceed to the nearest emergency room.
12. DO NOT drink any alcohol or smoke for several days after surgery. Alcohol is a blood thinner and could increase your risk for bleeding.
13. Please contact our office if the wound becomes excessively red, inflamed develops yellow-green drainage or feels warm to the touch.