Before Surgery

The best preparation for Mohs Surgery is a good night’s rest followed by breakfast. In certain instances, you may be asked not to eat or drink after midnight on the day of surgery. In most cases, the surgery will be completed on an outpatient basis. Because you can expect to be here for most of the day, it is wise to bring a book or magazine to read. Our operating rooms and even the waiting room are uncomfortably cool for many patients. Dressing in layers will help you to stay comfortable during your time at our office. Also, because the day may prove to be quite long and taxing, you are urged to have someone accompany you on the day of surgery to provide companionship and to drive you home.

Your referring physician may request and we strongly urge that you have a preoperative visit to evaluate your skin cancer prior to Mohs surgery. At this visit, the technique will be discussed in detail and you will meet the “team” performing the surgery. If you are coming a great distance and/or are being referred by a physician familiar with the technique, you may be referred directly for Mohs Surgery without a preoperative visit. Map and Travel Instructions

Mohs surgery is covered by Medicare and most insurance carriers. The patient should feel free to contact us regarding any insurance questions or cost concerns.


Your appointment time may be requested for morning or early afternoon. Upon arrival, you should check in at the registration window. When the surgical suite becomes available, you will be escorted by our surgical nurse to that area of the clinic. If you have not had a consultation visit, an RN will go through the procedure with you and answer any questions that you may have. Dr. Thomas will further discuss Mohs surgery and answer remaining questions that you may have.

After locating and marking the skin cancer, you will be placed on the surgical table and the area around your skin cancer will be anesthetized (numbed) using a local anesthetic. This may be uncomfortable, but usually this is the only pain you will feel during the procedure. Once the area is numbed, a layer of tissue will be removed and the bleeding controlled. The layer of tissue removed will be carefully handled by the surgeon, diagrammed, and sent to the technician to be processed into microscopic slides. A pressure dressing will be placed over your surgical wound and you will be free to leave the surgical suite. It will usually take an hour or more for the slides to be prepared by the technician and analyzed by Dr. Thomas.

Once we are sure that we have removed your skin cancer, we will discuss with you our recommendations for dealing with your wound.