While a cancer diagnosis is always frightening, skin cancer is both the most common and one of the most survivable forms of the disease. When Mohs surgery is appropriate for your condition, you’ll receive one of the most successful treatments available for skin cancer, with success rates as high as 99%.
Jennifer Baron MD in San Jose, California, specializes in Mohs surgery, giving her patients the best chance to overcome skin cancer with effective diagnosis and treatment. In surgical terms, a Mohs procedure is easy to prepare for and a different process than you might expect from surgery. Here’s what you need to know in advance of your session.
Mohs surgery overview
Mohs surgery is so successful because it provides Dr. Baron with a technique that assures the removal of all cancerous skin tissue while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.
Removing thin layers of malignant tissue from a lesion for immediate analysis in her office, Dr. Baron continues the process until there’s no longer any sign of cancer cells, and then Dr. Baron repairs the surgical wound for optimal healing.
While it’s a simple procedure for you, it can be time-consuming. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five steps to help you prepare for Mohs Surgery.
1. Prepare for recovery
Your primary role during recovery is caring for your wound as it heals. With that in mind, Dr. Baron recommends gathering your supplies before your Mohs surgery appointment. We recommend having the following on hand:
- Cold packs for pain reduction and to minimize swelling
- Acetaminophen or extra-strength acetaminophen for pain management
- Petroleum jelly, Aquaphor®, or Dr. Baron’s own jbSKIN wound healing ointment
- Gauze pads to cover the wound
- Wound tape to hold gauze pads in place
- Elastic bandages for wounds requiring wraparound protection
You’ll also need access to warm water and gentle soap to wash your hands prior to changing wound dressings. This lowers the risk of postsurgical infection.
2. Maintain your normal routine
Unlike procedures using general anesthetics, there’s no need to fast ahead of Mohs surgery. Have a normal dinner the night before and a typical breakfast on the day of your procedure. A full night of restful sleep helps the day of the procedure go as smoothly as possible.
3. Follow your usual medication schedule
Take any prescription or nonprescription medications as you normally would unless Dr. Baron advises you differently. Be sure to review these medications and any other supplements with us during preliminary consultations.
4. Dress comfortably
Mohs surgery can sometimes make for a long day, so dress for comfort, not for style. Choose layers to adjust your body temperature as necessary. Consider clothes that provide easy access to normally covered treatment areas if this applies to your procedure.
5. Plan your transportation
Some patients choose to take a sedative to help them stay comfortable through the Mohs procedure. You won’t be able to drive yourself home safely if you’re sedated, so plan for rides to and from our office in this case.
Preparing in advance makes your recovery easier and gives a sense of active involvement in your treatment, which can be helpful in managing your worries ahead of your appointment. Bring a magazine, book, or other diversion on the day of your procedure, and you can eat through the day, so packing snacks or a light lunch is a pro tip to help the time pass comfortably.
Skin cancer won’t wait for you, so don’t wait on it. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Baron anytime by calling our office at 408-418-8780.