How you prepare

Selecting a Mohs surgeon

Mohs surgery can be technically challenging. Many skin doctors (dermatologists) can perform Mohs surgery, since dermatologists learn about Mohs surgery in their medical training. Some Mohs surgeons have undergone specialized training — called a fellowship — to learn more about the procedure and become more proficient in Mohs surgery.

Ask your doctor about his or her qualifications and experience performing Mohs surgery.

Preparing for surgery

Your surgeon may recommend ways you can prepare for your surgery. You may be asked to:

  • Stop taking certain medications. Let your surgeon know of any medications or supplements you're taking, including any blood-thinning medications. Some supplements may affect your chances of bleeding after surgery, so make sure your surgeon knows about those, too. Continue taking any prescription medications as instructed unless your surgeon tells you otherwise.
  • Clear your schedule for the day. It's not possible to predict how long Mohs surgery will take. For most people, the procedure takes less than four hours. But your surgeon may advise you to plan as though surgery will take all day, since there's a very small chance it could take that long.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Wear casual clothes that are comfortable. Dress in layers so you can easily adapt if the room is warm or cold.
  • Bring something to help pass the time. Expect some waiting time during your Mohs surgery. Plan ahead by bringing a book, magazine or other activity to help you pass the time.
Sept. 06, 2017
References
  1. Robinson JK, et al., eds. Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology. In: Surgery of the Skin: Procedural Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 28, 2017.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Mohs micrographic surgery. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  3. Nehal K, et al. Mohs surgery. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 28, 2017.
  4. Mohs micrographic surgery in the treatment of skin cancer. American Society for Mohs Surgery. http://www.mohssurgery.org/patient-resources/patient-brochure/. Accessed July 28, 2017.
  5. Squamous cell skin cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 28, 2017.
  6. Basal cell skin cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 28, 2017.
  7. Warner KJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 17, 2017.
  8. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 21, 2017.