Mohs Pre-Operative Instructions

Before the day of your surgery, follow this checklist to avoid any unexpected or outlying issues and ensure the best possible experience and healing process.

If you notice a significant increase in the size of the lesion (growth) between the time you were initially evaluated and the scheduled surgery date, please notify us so we may re-evaluate the area or see you sooner

  1. Unless prescribed/recommended by a physician, it is best to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen two weeks prior to surgery. Also please stop Vitamin E, fish oil and gingko biloba. 
  2. Please avoid alcohol for 48 hours prior to surgery.
  3. If you take Coumadin, Plavix or another prescription blood thinner, please do not stop it preoperatively. If you are on Coumadin or Warfarin, you must have INR checked prior to your surgery. 
  4. If your surgical site is on the face/neck, purchase Bromelain 500 Mg 600 Gdu/Gram Dietary Supplement from GNC or Whole Foods. The product’s active ingredient is a natural pineapple enzyme that reduces bruising and swelling. Take Bromelain 3x daily beginning 2-3 days prior to surgery, and continue taking until bruising resolves. If you take any blood thinners, do NOT take Bromelain. 
  5. Please alert our office if you require an antibiotic prior to dental work or surgery so that we may send in a prescription to your pharmacy for you to take the morning of your procedure – 1 hour prior to procedure time. Please also let us know if you have had a joint replacement within 6 months of your scheduled Mohs appointment as we may want to prescribe an antibiotic for you to take prior to your surgery. 

On the day of your surgery:

    • Eat a light breakfast (and lunch, if surgery is in the afternoon).  
    • Please take all medications, including blood thinners, as prescribed
    • Expect to be in our office for at least 2-5 hours 
    • Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. You may bring a book or a laptop (we have wifi available)
    • Please do not use any moisturizers on your surgical day. For surgeries involving the face, please avoid any cosmetics/makeup.
    • Shower and shampoo before surgery, as your wound and initial dressing need to remain dry for approximately 48 hours after surgery.
    • If your skin cancer is located on the leg, please cleanse the leg with Hibiclens (available over the counter at all pharmacies) daily for 1-2 days prior to surgery.
    • Avoid heavily scented hair products, perfumes, colognes, and lotions the day of your procedure.
    • After surgery, wound care instructions will be reviewed with you. You will likely be leaving with stitches and a bandage. You may need to return for a wound check in 1-4 weeks. 


  • Exercise or other strenuous activity that places tension on the surgical site (weight lifting, golf, etc.) should be avoided for two weeks after the surgical procedure for optimal wound healing.

Should you have questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at (781)-591-4234.

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