Skin cancer surgery is also commonly referred to as Mohs surgery. Although patients having this surgery may do so as an outpatient in a same day surgery center, there are still steps that need to be taken to properly prepare for this important medical procedure.
Select a Knowledgeable Surgeon
When deciding on a surgeon, you need to ask what their credentials are. This is necessary, as many dermatologists are allowed to perform the surgery, even if they haven't completed a fellowship or received any specialized training. Having a surgeon who has specifically studied and practiced the medical procedure will reduce the risks of the patient suffering any complications.
Hold Off on Taking Certain Medications
Ask your physician for a complete list of medications that you are to avoid before surgery. It is common for doctors to request patients stop using aspirin and ibuprofen products for up to 2 weeks before the procedure, as they can cause excessive bleeding. There are even some vitamins and natural supplements that should be set aside until after the surgery. Fish oil is one example due to its blood-thinning affect.
Prepare a Day Bag
The skin cancer surgery is performed in stages to ensure that every last cancer cell has been removed. Because of this, the procedure can take all day. Patients will want to put together a day bag that contains snacks, reading materials, and crossword puzzles. You may even want to download a few games to your cell phone that you can play in between surgery sessions.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Most surgeries require a patient to forego food the day of the surgery, but this is not the case for Mohs surgery. You can get up and have a full healthy breakfast that will give you the energy and positive attitude you'll need to face the day.
Wear the Proper Attire
You'll want to be as comfortable as possible throughout the day, so don't dress to impress. Instead, choose an outfit that is loose fitting and bring a sweater in case the facility is a bit on the colder side. Patients should also refrain from wearing makeup, especially if the skin cancer is located on the face.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
Any type of surgery can be scary, so it is always a good idea to bring a friend or family member along with you. Not only will you receive moral support and encouragement, but you'll also have someone to drive you home if you're feeling a bit sore.