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Mohs FAQ

What does 'Mohs' stand for?

Contrary to popular belief it is not an acronym but is the last name of Dr. Frederic Mohs, who developed this procedure.

How does Mohs surgery differ from other types of surgery?

Mohs is more accurate with a higher cure rate and a smaller scar than any other way to treat skin cancer, since 100% of the margin of the removed tissue is evaluated.

Is Mohs surgery more expensive than other skin cancer treatment?

Besides having the highest cure rate, Mohs is far more cost-effective than radiation or excision in an operating room with a plastic surgeon. Also, there is less risk of the cost of retreatment as the cancer is unlikely to recur.

What is the biggest advantage of Mohs surgery?

You leave the office knowing the cancer is gone.

Will there be a scar and if so how big?

Any time the skin is cut there will be a scar. Our surgeons are trained to minimize the size and appearance. The size will depend on the size of the cancer itself.

Will I have stitches?

Most of the time you will have stitches, which will either dissolve or be removed at 1-2 weeks.

Am I awake during surgery?

Yes you are awake and just have local numbing.

How long is surgery?

You will be in the office for at least 2 hours, and up to many hours depending on the cancer. Much of that time is comfortably waiting for the tissue to be processed and read.

Can I bring a friend or family member?

Yes we encourage you to bring a friend or family member if you like, and especially if the surgery is near the eye or other areas which would make driving home difficult.

What should I or shouldn’t I wear? What about makeup?

Wear comfortable clothes. Please do not wear makeup if the surgery will be on the face.

Am I allowed to eat prior to surgery?

Yes please eat your usual meal prior to your appointment.

Should I take my regular medications prior to surgery?

Yes take all of your prescribed medications prior to surgery unless directed by the surgeon.

What should I avoid taking prior to surgery?

Avoid over the counter blood thinners like Omega-3 (fish oil), chondroitin, dan shen, feverfew, garlic tablets, ginger tablets, ginkgo, and ginseng. Also avoid NSAIDs including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and Naprosyn (Aleve) and any other prescription anti-inflammatories, unless your surgeon prescribes them. You will be able to take these NSAIDs after the surgery, and we actually encourage these for postoperative pain control. You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) unless otherwise instructed not to do so.

Will I be able to resume my normal activities after surgery?

It is important to minimize heavy activity or swimming for 1-2 weeks after the surgery.

Are there any complications I should be aware of?

As with any surgery, there is always a risk of bleeding, infection, slow healing, numbness. Mohs surgery has the lowest chance of recurrence of the cancer–just 1%.

Is the surgery covered by insurance?

Mohs surgery is almost always covered by insurance. Please contact your insurance company or our billing office with questions.