Mohs Surgery

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Cancer 101: Cancer Explained

Am I a good candidate for Mohs surgery?

You may not be a good candidate for Mohs if you are unable to tolerate local anesthesia, have extreme anxiety, have a surgical phobia, or are in very poor health.

The best treatment choice depends on various factors, including location, type of skin cancer, past treatments, and one’s overall health. Your physician can help you sort through the different options and assist in your choice. The right decision is a very personal one.

What if I have artificial joints or other health issues?

Your surgeon needs to know of any underlying medical conditions that may affect your surgery or wound healing. You would want to be certain to tell your surgeon beforehand if you have any artificial parts (implants) like knees or hips, a pacemaker or defibrillator, or need to take antibiotics before dental procedures because of a heart condition or murmur.

Your surgeon needs to know if you have had a history of staph or other skin infections in the recent past. You may be asked to wash with a special antibiotic soap or wash like chlorhexidine (Hibiclens) the night or morning before surgery to help reduce the number of bacteria on your skin.

Patients need to also advise their surgeon of any drug allergies to anesthetics like lidocaine (Xylocaine) or procaine (Novocaine). Additionally, the surgeon may need to know of any bleeding or bruising tendencies, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or pregnancy.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/3/2016

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