What to Expect Before Mohs Cancer Surgery | Tampa | HillsboroughThe techniques for eliminating tumors have evolved rapidly since doctors initially started skin cancer treatment.

In Mohs surgery, a specially trained doctor eliminates one thin skin tissue layer at a time and then evaluates it under a microscope.

In case any cancer cells are seen, the surgeon eliminates another skin layer from the exact area where the cancer cells remain. The surgeon will repeat this process until no more cancer cells are detected.

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.


The Preparation

After a patient has been scheduled for Mohs surgery, it is vital to take note of any existing medical conditions. For instance, if the patient has an artificial joint or a heart murmur, they should consult with their primary care doctor to understand whether pre-op antibiotics are necessary.

In case a patient has a pre-existing cardiovascular condition, it is important for them to speak to their doctor as well. They may or may not ask them to stop the use of blood thinners.

Patients without any pre-existing conditions will still have to keep a few things in mind. Specialists recommend avoiding aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (including ibuprofen) for a minimum of seven days before the procedure.

Patients should also avoid vitamin E and alcohol for a few days before the surgical procedure. The patient should have a normal breakfast on the morning of the surgery as there is no need it fast since the procedure is done under local anesthesia.

It is advisable for the patient to clear their schedule on the day of the Mohs procedure as the process can take time. They may want to ask a friend or family member to accompany them to their appointment. Finally, if the procedure is being undertaken on the face, the patient should ensure that their skin is makeup free.


Tobacco and Blood Thinners

It will be necessary for the patient to avoid using tobacco in any form for a specified duration prior to the Mohs surgery. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine which can disrupt the smooth flow of oxygen in the blood. This can lead to an increase in surgical risk and the possibility of delayed healing.  

In case the patient has been on blood thinners such as aspirin and NSAIDs or specific types of herbal supplements and vitamin E, they may need to discontinue their use for some time. The schedule of prescriptions drugs may also need to be altered.


Practical Arrangements

Working professionals should budget for a few days of leave from their workplace beforehand. Non-working patients should also plan to stay at home for some days and schedule their social engagements accordingly.

In addition, the patient should arrange for a responsible person to drive them home following the procedure. If required, they may arrange for aftercare for the initial few days of the recovery period.

The patient should ideally undertake any pressing home or office tasks beforehand to ensure a comfortable and relaxed recovery phase. They may also create a recovery kit at home containing the following items:

  • Prescription meds and antibiotics
  • OTC pain meds
  • Bandages
  • Loose fitting, front-open clothing
  • Favorite music CDs or movie DVDs

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.