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Skin Cancer

Patient Instructions

How to prepare for my visit

It is best to wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid pullover clothes. You may want to bring a sweater as the waiting area is often cool. If your skin cancer is on the face or neck, please do not wear make-up or jewelry in these areas.

Generally, you may drive yourself to our office on the day of surgery. However, if your cancer is near your eye, nose or upper cheek, you may be more comfortable having a companion drive, since swelling and bulky pressure bandaging could interfere with your vision.

On your surgery day, please take all of your prescribed medications, including blood thinners. If you are taking low-dose 81mg Aspirin for heart attack prevention or any herbal supplements, please stop these 10 days before surgery. A multivitamin is fine to continue before and after your surgery.

What to expect after my surgery

Minor discomfort

Most patients do not have severe pain after surgery. Mild to moderated discomfort over the first 24-48 hours is normal, and we recommend Extra Strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) taken as directed on the package. Please avoid anti-inflammatories (Ibuprophen, Motrin, Aleve, etc.) or aspirin-containing products as these can increase your bleeding risk.


Any surgical removal of skin cancer will leave visible scarring. However, because Mohs surgery spares as much normal skin as possible, scarring is minimized. Your doctor will do everything possible to make your scar as imperceptible as possible, but this may take time. Scars remodel for at least one year after surgery, so patience is important.

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Moy, Fincher, Chipps