Discomfort, if it should occur with this procedure, is usually mild and can be managed with Extra-Strength Tylenol. Do not take aspirin or aspirin-containing products (Excedrin, Anacin, etc.) unless prescribed by your primary care physician for a cardiac or stroke history as these can promote bleeding. A pressure dressing applied to the wound should be left on 1-3 days to minimize swelling and bleeding. Although some minimal bleeding is typical, brisk bleeding after surgery is infrequent. If brisk bleeding occurs, lie down, take some gauze or a dry washcloth and apply firm pressure for twenty minutes (by the clock) on the wound. Do not remove the pressure prior to this. If the bleeding persists, contact the on-call physician at the emergency contact numbers shown on your post-operative instructions.
Other problems that may occur include black and blue marks, swelling, and redness for approximately 2 months and a bumpy suture line for approximately 4 months. Rarely, if the skin cancer involves nerves of the skin, surgical removal can lead to numbness or muscle weakness in the area. Numbness usually resolves in 12-24 months, but may occasionally be permanent.
Remember, every surgical procedure produces scarring of some type. Although every attempt will be made to minimize and hide the scar, the extent of scarring depends on the size and depth of the cancer.
On very rare occasions, a patient may experience sadness and emotional lability after the procedure. These symptoms generally resolve after 2 weeks. Please notify the office if you are experiencing these feelings, so that we may refer you to a specialist.
The main goal of Mohs surgery is to remove skin cancer as completely as possible and prevent recurrence. Although the cure rate is not 100%, it offers the highest cure rate of any available procedure. Most patients never require further treatment.
Please remember, this information provides a general guide to skin cancer and Mohs surgery. Please consult your physician if any questions arise.