Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the questions below to read a specific answer, or scroll down to read all FAQs. Links to additional information can be found at the bottom of this page.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What to know before the surgery
What does Mohs stand for?
Mohs is actually named after the physician, Dr. Frederick Mohs, who first developed the methods of research and performed the clinical studies which became Mohs Micrographic Surgery.
Why do I need Mohs?
Certain skin cancers are more readily cured by Mohs surgery than by other treatments, because the procedure allows the physician to examine more completely the tissue affected.
What to know the morning of the surgery
Do I need someone to drive me home?
The entire process is completed in one outpatient appointment. We only recommend that a patient brings a driver if the site is located on the face or if the patient takes medication for anxiety.
Why do I have to be here so early in the morning?
The Mohs surgery process, a specific sequence of surgery and tissue examination, allows surgeons to identify and remove cancerous tumors with great precision, leaving healthy skin unharmed. This process of surgery and examination of tissue takes time and the length of the procedure is determined by the distribution of the cancerous tissue as well as the repair that follows.
What do I need to bring?
If you are a new patient, please bring a current medication list, the paperwork that RSSC mailed you or that you printed from our website, photo identification and your insurance card(s). If you are a current patient please bring a current medication list if your medications have changed since your last visit, photo identification and your insurance card. We recommend that you bring a book or a mobile device to help pass the time since the Mohs process can be lengthy. RSSC also provides a variety of magazines in the lobby as well as a coffee bar with light snacks.
Can I eat breakfast?
Yes. We recommend that you follow your regular morning routine.
What to know during the surgery
How long does the procedure take?
All patients should be prepared to stay at our office for the morning & afternoon although the majority of our patients are done by lunch time. The specific time depends on where the skin cancer is and how large it is so it difficult to predict the amount of time the patient will spend at the office.
What type of anethesia is used for the surgery?
RSSC uses local anesthesia so the entire process is completed in one outpatient appointment.
What to know after the surgery
Will I have a bandage?
As with any surgery where an incision is made, there will need to be a bandage to protect your site and aid in healing. The size and type of bandage will vary depending on the location and size of the site.
Will I have to come back after the procedure?
There will be follow-up appointments in order to follow the healing progress of the site. The number of follow-up appointments is determined by the location and size of the site of cancer as well as the health of the patient.
Do I need a plastic surgeon for repair?
Dr. Housman is formally trained in reconstructive surgery. She has been the primary Mohs surgeon for over 13,000 Mohs cases and reconstructions, including flaps and grafts. Dr. Housman will only refer you for reconstruction elsewhere when general anesthesia will be needed.
Will I have a scar?
As with any form of surgery where an incision is made there will be evidence of a scar, since the skin heals by forming a scar. However, Dr. Housman is formally trained in reconstructive surgery so scarring will be minimized.