What to Expect on The Day of Your Mohs Surgery

When prepping for Mohs Surgery, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially on the day of your surgery.

  • Please be sure to eat a well-balanced breakfast the morning of your surgery. This procedure uses local anesthesia which only affects the area being treated. You will not be asleep for this procedure.
  • We tell our patients to plan to be in our office for the majority of the day. After the initial skin cancer is removed, it takes 45 minutes or more for your skin sample to be processed by our in-house lab.  
  • If the skin sample still has some cancerous cells at the edge, then your doctor will take another small piece of tissue at the affected margin to achieve cure. This process may be repeated several times to ensure the skin cancer is completely removed, which is why it is difficult to estimate the exact duration of your procedure. That is why we ask you to block off the entire day. 
  • Once the skin cancer is completely removed, your doctor will use their advanced skin surgery skills to determine how to close up the skin with the best cosmetic outcome and least noticeable scar for you.  
  • You will leave our office with a large pressure bandage and follow up instructions with how to care for your wound. 
  • It is important to have someone drive you and pick you up from your surgery. Even if you think you can drive, you cannot predict the effects of local anesthesia, which can make you pass out on a drive home. Neither your family nor we would want that to happen to you, which is why this is an important rule to follow.



This surgical technique was first developed by a doctor, Frederic E. Mohs, and was thus named after him.

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