Surgery Instructions

Pre- and Post-Surgery Instructions

We strongly suggest you have someone come with you to drive you home.

You will be here for approximately three (3) hours. It could be more or less depending on how large the skin cancer is and how many Mohs layers are necessary to completely remove the cancer.

You should eat and take your normal medications before you arrive at the office, unless you are specifically instructed otherwise.

Dress warmly and bring a sweater with you as it can get cool in the office.

Shower the night before or the morning of surgery. The bandage we put on after the surgery will need to stay on and dry for at least two days. We will go over how to do the dressing changes with you before you leave the office. The instructions will be written down.

When you go home, we will want you to take it easy. This will ensure the surgery site heals with optimal results. NO heavy lifting, excessive bending forward, golfing or exercising for several days. This is very important! Using ice packs greatly decreases the pain and swelling.

You may be given a prescription for pain medication or you can take Extra-Strength Tylenol. If you are anxious about the upcoming surgical procedure, please let the office know and a mild anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed prior to your surgery appointment.

If your surgery is on your back or arms, please consider wearing a button-down shirt.

What Happens During the Surgery

On the day of surgery, you will be taken to the operating room. Dr. Barber will mark out the skin cancer area. It will be numbed with Xylocaine and then Dr. Barber will remove the marked area. We will put on a temporary dressing, and you will go to the waiting room. The specimen will go to the lab and the tissue will be processed so Dr. Barber can look at the tissue under the microscope. If all the cancer is out and the margins are clear, Dr. Barber will close up the defect. If there is some remaining cancer, we will bring you back to the OR and remove only the area that still has the skin cancer. This will go on until the skin cancer is totally removed. When all the cancer is out we will bring you back to the operating room and close up the defect. We will go over wound care instructions before you leave and give you written instructions on how to change your dressings. We call you the next morning to make sure you are doing well. You will have Dr. Barber’s cell phone number if you have a surgical emergency after normal business hours.

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