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Even though Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure, it still requires you to take certain precautions and steps to prepare. Following our guidelines – from two weeks before surgery to the day of – will help ensure the best outcome possible.
2 weeks before surgery
Smoking interferes with wound healing, so we ask smokers to refrain at least two weeks before surgery and two weeks after.
If not prescribed, please avoid certain drugs for at least two weeks before surgery and two days after due to the risk for excessive bleeding:
Aspirin, or products that contain aspirin (e.g., Alka-Seltzer, Excedrin)
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
Tylenol, or its generic form, acetaminophen, are okay to take if needed
1 week before surgery
To protect against raised blood pressure and increased bleeding, we ask that one week before your surgery you stop taking:
Other herbal supplements
24 hours before surgery
To protect against raised blood pressure and increased bleeding, we ask that you not drink alcohol at least 24 hours before and after your surgery.
Day of surgery
On the day of surgery, we ask that you:
Take a bath or shower, shampooing your hair and soaping the general surgical area to reduce the risk of infection
Avoid makeup if the surgery is on your face
Take all scheduled, prescribed medications (unless otherwise directed by our nurses) including blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol drugs (please bring a day's supply of each to your appointment)
Eat a normal breakfast
Wear warm, comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
Bring food or snacks and something to pass the time such as a newspaper or book — be prepared to spend at least 3-4 hours through the morning and early afternoon, though the procedure length depends on the tumor's size, location and complexity
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!