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- Guide to Breast Cancer
- Skin Cancer Risks
- Patient Comments: Mohs Surgery - Experience
- Patient Comments: Mohs Surgery - Scars
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- What is Mohs surgery?
- Why is the procedure called Mohs?
- Where can I have Mohs surgery, and how long does the surgery take?
- What kind of physician can perform Mohs surgery? Where can I find a doctor board-certified in Mohs?
- Is Mohs only for skin cancer?
- Am I a good candidate for Mohs surgery?
- What if I have artificial joints or other health issues?
- What areas are treatable by Mohs surgery?
- What are possible complications of Mohs?
- What is reconstruction? Will I have a scar after Mohs surgery?
- What about insurance coverage and costs of Mohs surgery?
- What are alternatives for Mohs surgery?
- How do I prepare for my Mohs surgery?
- What is the recovery time for Mohs surgery? Is Mohs painful?
- How do I take care of my surgical area after Mohs surgery?
- What is the chance that my cancer will recur after Mohs surgery?
- How many "levels" of Mohs surgery will I need?
- How are skin cancers treated?
What is the recovery time for Mohs surgery? Is Mohs painful?
Recovery is usually very easy and uneventful. Overall, resting as much as possible the first few days after surgery is helpful.
Stitches (sutures) are usually removed at the surgeon's office anywhere from four to 14 days from the date of surgery. Your physician will let you know what date to return for stitch removal.
Most patients report minimal discomfort after surgery and require minimal or no pain medication.
If there is pain, many patients find that they prefer to take something for pain at the first hint of discomfort instead of waiting until the pain builds up to an unbearable level. If you have mild or moderate pain, your doctor may advise you to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or another pain reliever over the counter. Aspirin or aspirin-containing pain relievers may cause increased bleeding. Rarely, prescription pain medications may be required for severe pain.
Your physician will let you know what pain medications are recommended for your specific condition.
Most patients are able to return to work or school the next day after Mohs. Avoiding heavy lifting, straining, or strenuous exercise for seven to 21 days may be required depending on the area of surgery. Your physician will need to let you know what activity precautions are required based on the area and size of your procedure.
You may go out in the sun with sunscreen and protective hats and clothing. Excess sun exposure has been linked to skin cancer. Use of sunscreen or other cover-up on the scar is very helpful for at least six months after surgery to help minimize scarring. It is important to follow your own physician's instructions for wound care and sun protection.