What can I expect after the surgery is completed?


Most people are concerned about pain. We make every effort to minimize any pain associated with the procedure. You may experience remarkably little discomfort after your surgery. You will be provided with Vicodin or Darvocet, codeine-like compounds with acetaminophen for the first few days upon request. If you do not want narcotics, combining acetaminophen and ibuprofen often works well.


A small number of patients will experience some bleeding post-operatively. This bleeding can usually be controlled by the use of pressure. You should take a gauze pad and/or ice pack and apply constant pressure over the bleeding point for 15 minutes; do not lift up or relieve the pressure at all during that period of time. If bleeding persists after continued pressure for 15 minutes, repeat the pressure for another 15 minutes. If this fails, call the doctor or visit a local Emergency Room.


Some minor complications may occur after Mohs surgery. Swelling and bruising are very common following Mohs surgery, particularly when it is performed around or above the eyes. This usually subsides within 4-5 days after surgery and may be decreased by the user of an ice pack and elevation in the first 48 hours. A small red area may develop surrounding your wound. This is normal and does not necessarily indicate infection. However, if this redness does not subside in days or the wound begins to drain pus, or becomes painful you should notify us immediately. Itching and redness around the wound, especially in areas where adhesive tape has been applied, are not uncommon. When this occurs, ask your druggist for a non-allergenic tape and use petroleum ointment only. At times, the area surrounding your operative site will be numb to the touch. This area of anesthesia (numbness) may persist for several months or longer. In some instances, it may be permanent. If this occurs, please discuss it with your doctor at your follow-up visit.

Although every effort will be made to offer the best possible cosmetic result, you will be left with a scar. The scar can be minimized by the proper care of your wound. Some scars and flap surgery often require a second minor procedure in 6-8 weeks for optimal results. We will discuss wound care in detail with you and give you a Wound Care Informational Sheet which will outline how to take care of whatever type of wound you have.
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