Care for your Mohs Surgery Site
- Do not exercise heavily or lift heavy objects until after the sutures are removed.
- Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours.
- Leave the bandage on your wound for 24-48 hours. Be sure to keep the area clean and dry.
- After 24-48 hours, you can wash the area daily or twice a day with gentle soap and water.
- If you were prescribed an antibiotic, please take as directed and finish the prescription course.
- Your surgical site has been injected with a long-lasting local anesthetic. This will begin to wear off in 4-6 hours. We recommend that you take a dose of pain medicine before this occurs for your comfort.
- To relieve pain or discomfort, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or extra strength acetaminophen (Extra Strength Tylenol). Take the recommended dose on the package. Only take oral pain medications if your Primary Care Doctor has recommended them. If this does not relieve your pain, call our office. If you are allergic to acetaminophen, ask for your Primary Care Provider what you can take instead. Do not take aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil). These medications make it harder for your blood to clot, which may increase bleeding.
- You can also hold an ice pack over your wound to reduce pain, swelling, and bruising. Place the ice pack on your wound for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed by your provider.
- Bruising and swelling near the surgical site is normal. If your surgery was near the eye, forehead, nose, or cheeks, you may experience a black eye. Your eye may even swell shut. Do not be frightened if this happens, the swelling will go down once you are up and around.
- If you have any bleeding, you should relax, recline, and press firmly on your wound with a glean gauze pad for 20 minutes (no peeking!!). If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes, repeat this step with continuous pressure. If the bleeding has NOT stopped after repeating this step, or there is a large, swollen, purple area around the surgical site, call our office immediately. If this occurs after hours, page the doctor on call or go to your nearest emergency room.
- Avoid any activity or movement that may cause the wound to stretch or place tension on the wound for 2-3 weeks. This will help prevent the wound from opening and will result in a finer, less visible scar that is less prone to widen over time.
- If your procedure was on your neck, face, back, or scalp, don’t bend at your waist until your sutures are removed.
- Do not let your wound be underwater (such as a swimming pool, bathtub, or hot tub until the sutures are removed.
- For sleeping, if the procedure was above your neck, sleep with your head elevated 45 degrees for the first 5 days after your procedure. You can do this by sleeping with 2 pillows under your head.
When to Call the Office
There are certain symptoms and side-effects you should especially vigilant about:
- A temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- Increasing redness or swelling
- Increasing pain or discomfort
- Skin that is hard, warm, or hot to the touch
- Bright yellow or green discharge
- Bleeding that doesn’t stop after applying continuous pressure
- Foul odor