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Mohs Surgery Pre-Op Info

Mohs Surgery Pre-op InfoWe would like to thank you in advance for choosing us for your skin cancer surgery. Thank you for allowing us to care for you!

We recommend that you clear your entire day aside so that if there is a complication or you experience discomfort that you can deal with an unanticipated situation in the least stressful way possible. Surgery is not an exact science and we believe that by setting the appropriate time aside, you will ensure that you have the best chance for success for your surgery. Also, you may need to take some time off of work (from 2 to 7 days). Please make sure that you have done this before your surgery is performed. Also, please do not schedule any 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.

BE ADVISED… There are several other patients who will also undergo simultaneous skin surgery procedures so our waiting room may be full. We will give you the best care possible. Bring your cell phone in case you want to leave the office. In this way, we can immediately contact you when we know your pathology results.

We recommend that you bring a book, magazine or headset (iPhone, iPod) with you. Juice, crackers, water, tea, and coffee are provided in case you get thirsty or hungry.


1. If your skin or Mohs surgery is on the face or over a large area, i.e. arm or leg, it would be wise to have someone drive you to and from the office. A responsible adult should be available to stay with you or look in on you for the first 24 hours after your surgery. Please make these arrangements ahead of time. Please avoid wearing makeup, fragrances, or jewelry. It is a good idea to pull your hair away from the surgical site. In some instances, we may need to shave your hair at the surgery site. Inform our staff prior to your surgery if you have a pacemaker device or are allergic to certain medications, topical antiseptics such as iodine or chlorhexidine, tape, adhesives, or suture (stitch) materials.

2. Let us know if you are prone to scarring or keloid formation. Consider discontinuing blood thinners beginning two weeks prior to your surgery. If you need to take these because of heart or stroke issues, please continue on these medications but let us know that you are taking them. Call us if you are unsure. If you have any special needs or have been instructed that you need to take preoperative antibiotics for such things as a heart valves, implants, artificial prostheses or for other medical reasons, please let us know about this prior to your surgery.

3. If antibiotics or pain medications have been prescribed for you, please have these filled prior to your surgery. Start your antibiotic medication one day prior to your surgery and take until finished (usually 5 to 14 days). Wear an old shirt that buttons down the front and not a pull over on the day of your surgery. Bring or wear warm socks as our office tends to be chilly!


After the each tumor stage (removal and test), it will take at least 1 hour to process your skin with the Mohs technique. This may need to be repeated if we don’t remove the entire cancer on our first attempt. Thanks for your patience.

Rarely, tissue processing will take more than 1 hour. Please be aware of this. After the tumor is cleared, we will discuss the reconstructive options which may include allowing the wound to heal by itself, linear closure, adjacent tissue transfer (flap), graft, or repair on another day with either Dr. Harvey or another surgeon that we refer you to. Sometimes more than one surgical appointment is needed to optimize the cosmetic aspect of your closure.

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