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Preparing for Surgery

How should I prepare the morning of surgery?

Good hygiene and cleanliness are important to prevent infection.  Please shower or bathe the morning of your procedure. Washing with anti-bacterial soap is helpful.  Please do not wear make-up or other cosmetics near the surgery site. We will remove jewelry or hearing aids if they are near the site at the time of surgery.  Wear comfortable clothes. A button-down shirt is ideal for those who need to remove it without disturbing bandages on the face, neck, or head.




The day of surgery, please eat a good breakfast, but limit your caffeine intake.  If your procedure is coordinated with a plastic surgeon, please do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before surgery.  This will be determined at the time of your consultation.  If there is any confusion, please call us so that we can clarify this for you prior to your procedure.


Please continue any medications prescribed to you by your doctor.  However, aspirin is a drug that may prolong bleeding.  We ask that you avoid taking anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) medications , such as aspirin-containing products (including Anacin, Bufferin, Excedrin, Alka Seltzer and Percodan) for 10 days prior to your surgery as well as products containing ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve, Motrin) 10 days prior to surgery. However, you may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) any time before surgery for pain, if needed.


If you have been prescribed Coumadin (warfarin) or Plavix/Brilinta (clopidogrel/ticagrelor) by a physician, you may not be able to stop them. We will want you to call and discuss this with your doctor.  In many cases, patients are allowed to stop their blood-thinners for a short time prior to surgery.

If you are at high risk for such disorders as heart attack, stroke, or blood clot formation and have been given blood-thinners to treat them, you will likely be unable to stop them.  We do not want you to take an unnecessary risk and you should definitely discuss this with your doctor.


Should I arrange to have a driver?

We always recommend that you have someone come with you to serve as your driver if necessary.  Many people will bring a family member or friend to keep them company while they are waiting.  If you choose to take Valium (diazepam) prior to the procedure, or if the location of the procedure may hinder your ability to drive (e.g., near your eye or on your hand), it is necessary that you arrange to have a companion drive you to and from the doctor's office. 

**Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking that anyone who has come with you to wait in the car or to leave a phone number to be reached at once your procedure is complete.**

Mohs surgery can last approximately 5 to 6 hours and is not an environment conducive to children. Therefore, we ask that you make child care arrangements ahead of time.

Will I be hospitalized?

No. Mohs surgery is performed in a pleasant outpatient surgical suite and you may return home the same day.  Hospital facilities are available if necessary.

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