The recovery after Mohs surgery is typically quite easy and uneventful. In general, getting as much rest as possible in the initial few days after the procedure is helpful.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides cosmetic and medical skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.
Post-Operative Recovery Process
Sutures (stitches) are typically taken out at the surgeon’s office between four to 14 days after the Mohs surgery procedure.
The doctor will inform the patient on when they have to return to the office for suture removal. A majority of patients report minimal discomfort following surgery and need little to no pain medication.
For patients who experience mild to moderate pain, the doctor may advise them to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or another OTC pain reliever. Aspirin or pain-relievers that contain aspirin may lead to increased bleeding. In rare cases, prescription pain drugs may be necessary for severe pain.
The doctors will let the patient know what pain meds are recommended for their particular condition.
A majority of patients are able to resume work or school the next day following their Mohs surgery. The patient should avoid heavy lifting, straining, or vigorous exercise for seven to 21 days, depending on the surgical site. The doctor will let the patient know what activity limitations are necessary based on the size and site of the procedure.
The patient may go out in the sun with sunscreen and protective clothing and hats. There is a link between excess sun exposure and skin cancer. The use of sunscreen or another cover-up on the scar can be quite helpful for at least six months after Mohs surgery to minimize scarring.
It is vital to follow the doctor’s guidelines on wound care and sun protection.
How do I care for my Surgical Site after Mohs Surgery?
It is advisable to check with the surgeon for specific post-op wound care guidelines. In general, the patient will be asked to return home and take it easy for the rest of the day. Some patients choose to return to work the day after the procedure.
It may be recommended to avoid heavy lifting and exercise, particularly during the initial 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. The doctor will typically offer the patient more in-depth instructions depending on the size and area of the procedure. The patient will usually have a bulky “pressure” dressing on the treated area for one day.
They may be asked to keep the site dry for 24 hours. Many doctors allow patients to shower the next day after the procedure. Wound care may involve cleaning the soap with hydrogen peroxide or soap two to three times daily and applying petroleum jelly to the site.
Mild inflammation is not uncommon in the initial day or two after the procedure. This can be reduced by applying an ice bag, ice cubes or chips in a small Ziploc baggie, or frozen peas in the bag to the treated area.
Inflammation is more common for procedures around the lips or eyes. Additionally, sleeping in an elevated position, propped up in a few pillows or in a recliner, may help reduce the inflammation after the surgery of the face and head area.
The surgeon will need to know whether the pain is increasing after one to two days of the procedure or if the patient is having fever or other concerning symptoms. In such cases, the patient may need to visit the surgeon’s office. The surgical site may need to be evaluated for infection or bleeding.
Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for cosmetic and medical skin care procedures.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.