In some circumstances, Dr. O’Donnell will want to meet you prior to the surgery day for a
preoperative evaluation. Also, if you would feel more comfortable meeting Dr. O’Donnell
and his staff before the surgery you may schedule a consultation. Our Mohs surgery nurse will contact you as soon as possible concerning the date of your surgery. If you take Coumadin, Ticlid, aspirin or any other blood thinners prescribed by your doctor or if you routinely take antibiotics prior to surgery, our Mohs surgery nurse will discuss with you any further instructions. Your family doctor may have to be contacted.
Before Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Do not take any over the counter aspirin or products containing aspirin (please refer to the list of medications on the last page of this information packet) two weeks before surgery. However, do not discontinue blood thinners like Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid or Aggrenox which were prescribed by your doctor unless you are instructed to do so. If you were instructed to discontinue prescribed blood thinners prior to surgery, in most cases they may be restarted later that evening after the surgery. Do not drink any alcoholic beverages for 24 hours before the surgery and 48 hours after the surgery. Stop smoking (or reduce as much as possible) two weeks before and two weeks after surgery since smoking increases the chance for poor healing especially if a skin graft or flap is utilized to repair the area.
Beginning several days prior to surgery, use antibiotic soap like Lever 2000, Dial, or Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar on the area and surrounding areas of the skin cancer. Shampoo your hair the night before the surgery, as your wound and initial dressing will need to remain dry for 48 hours.
The length of the procedure varies depending on the size and location of the tumor, the number of layers required as well as the type of reconstruction or repair needed. Please be prepared to be with us for the whole morning and possibly extending into the afternoon.
Much of the time spent is waiting for the tissue to be specially processed so that it can be examined under the microscope so please bring along a book or handiwork to keep busy. In many cases, we ask that someone accompanies you or drops you off and picks you up because you may be tired after the day and may have a bandage which will prevent you from driving safely. We ask that you limit the number of people accompanying you to one or two because of
the limited space in our waiting room. They will need to remain in the waiting room until your surgery is entirely completed.