Mohs surgery offers the highest cure rate of all treatment options (99%
cure rate for basal cell carcinoma). It allows the least amount of healthy
skin removed, thereby minimizing the final surgical scar. It is a one
day outpatient surgery only requiring local anesthesia, not general anesthesia.
The patient is taken to a surgical suite and prepped. The surgical
area is anesthetized with local anesthetic (numbing injections). The
tumor along with a thin surrounding layer of skin is excised. The removed
specimen is then processed in the lab and examined under a microscope.
If any residual tumor remain at the edge of the specimen the patient
will be taken back to the surgical suite for another layer removal.
This is done until the area is free of tumor.
On average it takes approximately 1 hour to process and examine each
specimen, less time for small specimens and more time for larger ones.
Also on average it takes 2-3 attempts to clear the tumor. The size of
the surgical defect cannot be determined until the tumor is completely
removed. Typically patients will be in the office for 3-4 hours, but
be prepared to spend the day for surgery.
After complete removal of the cancer, typically reconstructive surgery
is performed to repair the surgical wound. Sometimes the wound will
be allowed to heal in for 1-2 weeks before it is repaired. Depending
on the size and location of the wound, it may be allowed to heal in by
itself. The repair method cannot be determined until the tumor is completely
●If you take aspirin or ibuprofen please discontinue these medications
at least 7 days before surgery. If your aspirin is prescribed, please
check with your physician before stopping it.
●If you take coumadin (warfarin) or Plavix please continue the medication.
Please check your levels a few days before the surgery.
●Please continue all other regular daily medications unless specified.
●If you do, you may require antibiotics before the surgery. Please
let us know so we may prescribe some antibiotics prior to surgery.
●Please let us know so we may prescribe some antibiotics before surgery.
Absolutely no Alcohol, fish oils (omega-3 fatty acid), Vit E, or gingko 7 days prior to surgery. They cause more bleeding.