Preparing for Mohs

Inside clinic office with paintings, couches and lamp shadesThe best preparation for Mohs Surgery is a good night’s rest followed by breakfast. In certain instances, you may be asked not to eat or drink after midnight on the day of surgery. In most cases, the surgery will be completed on an outpatient basis. Because you can expect to be here for most of the day, it is wise to bring a book or magazine to read. Our operating rooms and even the waiting room are uncomfortably cool for many patients. Dressing in layers will help you to stay comfortable during your time at our office. Also, because your surgery day may be long and taxing, you should have someone accompany you and be able to drive you home after surgery.

Your referring physician may request and we strongly urge that you have a preoperative visit to evaluate your skin cancer prior to Mohs surgery. At this visit, the technique will be discussed in detail and you will meet the “team” performing the surgery. If you are coming a great distance and/or are being referred by a physician familiar with the technique, you may be referred directly for Mohs Surgery without a preoperative visit. Need Directions?

Please see our Contact & Location page for detailed driving directions.


The Day of Surgery

You may request a morning or early afternoon appointment. Upon arrival, you should check in at the registration window. When the surgical suite becomes available, you will be escorted by our surgical nurse to that area of the clinic. If you have not had a consultation visit, an RN will go through the procedure with you and answer any questions that you may have. Dr. Thomas will further discuss Mohs surgery and answer remaining questions that you may have.

After locating and marking the skin cancer, you will be placed on the surgical table and the area around your skin cancer will be anesthetized (numbed) using a local anesthetic. This may be uncomfortable, but usually this is the only pain you will feel during the day as we will augment anesthesia as needed before sensation returns. Once the area is numbed, a layer of tissue will be removed and the bleeding controlled. The layer of tissue removed will be carefully handled by Dr. Thomas, diagrammed, and sent to the lab technician to be processed into microscopic slides. A pressure dressing will be placed over your wound and you will be free to leave the surgical suite. It will usually take an hour or more for the slides to be prepared by the technician and then analyzed by Dr. Thomas.

Once the  skin cancer has been removed, we will discuss with you our recommendations for dealing with your wound.


Patient Information & Education

Find more information about Mohs Surgery and Skin Cancer in the following topics below.