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The Day of the Mohs Micrographic Surgery

Appointments for surgery are scheduled to begin between 7:30 and 8:45 a.m. It is a good idea to wear loose fitting clothing and avoid pullover clothing. Also, if the operative site is on the face, please do not wear make-up. We will obtain your written consent for the procedure, photographs may be taken, and your blood pressure will be recorded. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them at any time.

The area surrounding the skin cancer will be cleansed with an anti-bacterial soap. The anesthesia will then be injected into the area of skin containing the cancer. This injection will probably be similar to the one you received for your biopsy. We will be as gentle as possible when administering this. It usually takes a few minutes to anesthetize the involved area and remove the tissue. After the tissue has been removed, it will be processed in our office laboratory.

Infrequently, patients are quite anxious about their treatment for which we can give anxiolytic medicines (such as Valium). If you think you might require such medicines, please be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home.

Depending upon the amount of tissue removed, processing usually takes an additional 30-60 minutes. Your wound will be bandaged, and you will move to the waiting room while the tissue is processed and examined by the doctor. If the microscopic examination of the removed tissue reveals the presence of additional tumor, we will go back and remove more tissue. The Mohs technique allows us to precisely map out where the roots of the cancer remain. Most skin cancers are removed in 1-3 surgical stages.