Patients need to take some important steps prior to surgery to maximize the outcome of their procedure.
The first step for a patient is to ensure that their surgeon is a qualified Mohs surgeon. Any surgeon certified through the American College of Micrographic Surgery are all fellowship trained and have a minimum of a 1 or 2 year fellowship specifically in Mohs surgery after they have already become dermatologists or plastic surgeons. These surgeons have the expertise to handle all tumor types, and can handle most aspects of the reconstruction. In some countries, the reconstruction aspect of the procedure is passed off to a different team that work with the Mohs surgeon. On the Mohs college website, the qualified surgeons can be found, for patients to check at www.mohscollege.org.
Patients should be aware that they will need some time off of work to recover from their procedure. The wounds will not have a socially presentable look in the weeks after surgery, and patients should prepare for this. In other cases, functionality is affected, for example, if the surgery takes place on the fingernails, the patient’s ability to do manual work will be negatively affected. Other considerations include individual risks for the patient. Some patients are on blood thinners. This may present added risk for complex or multi-staged surgeries, and the patient may need to communicate with their doctor to find alternatives such as taking time off of the blood thinners if possible.
See our subsequent videos for treatment options, the pros and cons in considering the various modalities. Patient and doctor communication is often very important to optimize the safety and performance of the surgery.