Pre-Op Instructions for Mohs Surgery

Please read the following instructions carefully prior to your surgery date. We want you to be as prepared as possible for the surgery, the follow up care, and visits to our office. Our sincere intent is to make your surgery experience as pleasant, convenient, and stress-free as possible.

Please call us with any questions at 609-799-6222. We are in the office from 8:00 until 4:00, Monday through Friday.

Preparing for the Surgery

Patients can typically drive themselves to and from their appointments. If the surgery is near your eye or on the foot you use for driving, you should make arrangements for someone to drop you off and pick you up. They may wait with you, or you can call them once your surgery is complete. Your time in the office will vary, but plan to be here until about 1:00. Most of your time will be spent in the waiting room waiting for laboratory results. Bring reading material, sewing, etc. to occupy your time. We offer wireless internet access for your convenience.

Be sure to eat breakfast before your surgery. If you are diabetic, you may wish to bring a snack with you. We provide fresh fruit, snacks, and decaffeinated coffee for our surgical patients.

Do not stop taking any medication in preparation for the procedure. You may continue taking your normal medications, including blood thinners. Please notify the front desk of any changes to your medications. Please notify your nurse if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator.

About the Mohs Procedure

During Mohs micrographic surgery, Dr. Vine will mark the area that is going to be operated on. The area will be numbed with a local anesthetic and Dr. Vine will remove a small amount of tissue around the marked area. Dr. Vine will then look at the tissue under a microscope to see if any cancerous cells remain. If so, the process will be repeated until no more skin cancer is visible under the microscope. This process allows Dr. Vine to determine exactly where skin cancer remains, leaving as much healthy skin as possible.

Follow Up

You will be instructed to follow up in ten to fourteen days. Instructions for wound care will be given to you before you leave. It is normal to have bruising and minor swelling following the procedure. Please notify the office if you experience any of the following: extensive swelling, redness, heat, pain, foul-smelling drainage, nausea, fever, and/or heavy bleeding.

Most patients are able to return to work the day after surgery. However, if surgery is extensive, it may be appropriate to take a few days off before returning to work. Unless the doctor states otherwise, you may use Extra Strength Tylenol for pain as needed.

Please minimize strenuous activity (heavy lifting, for example) after surgery to decrease the chance of bleeding or stitches coming out prematurely. Avoid alcohol for two days following the procedure.


You will need the following supplies to care for your wound: hydrogen peroxide, plain petrolatum ointment (Vaseline), non-stick dressing (such as Telfa), non-allergenic tape (paper tape), antibacterial soap, gauze, and Q-Tips.

If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, please contact the office as soon as possible to reschedule.