Mohs Surgery – Post-Operative Care
What to Expect after Mohs Surgery at Midland Dermatology
The surgical site may be sore for several days after surgery. You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen), as directed on the bottle, if needed for discomfort. Do not take aspirin, aspirin-containing pain medicines, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.), or other NSAIDs (Alleve), as these medications may cause bleeding.
Most bleeding can be stopped by applying firm constant pressure to the dressing with a dry, clean gauze to the surgical site for 30 minutes (NON-STOP). If the bleeding does not stop after applying pressure for 30 minutes, please call Dr. Akin. If you are unable to reach the doctor, go to the Emergency Room.
Swelling and redness may occur around the wound for several days. If surgery is done around the eyes, such as the nose, or on the forehead or scalp, the area around the eyes is often quite swollen and discolored for several days. The eyes may even be swollen shut, which will affect the ability to work or drive. This may not peak until 48 hours after surgery. Drainage is to be expected in wounds that are not stitched and allowed to heal on their own. The drainage may be yellow-green and have a slight odor, which usually begins several days after surgery.
As the wound heals, you may feel skin tightening, itching of the scar, or small sharp pains in the scar. These feelings are normal and will lessen as time passes. Massaging the scar (after stitches are removed, but wait 6 weeks) will often help flatten, soften and decrease itching of the scar. Scars are pink for several months after surgery and eventually turn white. The surrounding area may feel numb. This is usually temporary, lasting 6 months. The deep stitches may feel like “lumps” under the skin which will also go away over the next several months.
If the skin around the surgical site develops expanding redness, swelling, and pain and the wound begins to drain pus, you may have an infection. Please call Dr. Akin.
If stitches were placed, please avoid heavy lifting and exercise until the stitches are removed and for high tension areas until the wound is completely healed.
Please continue your prescription medicines as directed by your physician.
You may get the area wet by showering or washing your face after 24 hours, but afterward, be sure to clean the wound as directed in the “Post-Operative Care” section below. If stitches were placed, please don’t soak the wound in the bathtub or swimming pool until the stitches are removed.
Directly avoid the area of sutures while shaving.
Mohs Surgery Post-Operative Care of the Wound
Supplies needed for wound care
- Non-stick dressing (Telfa)
- Paper tape
- Petrolatum (Vaseline) ointment
- Q-tips or cotton swabs
- Soap and water (any bath or hand soap)
- Wash hands and remove original dressing in 24 hours. Gently clean the wound with soap and water. Rinse with water and pat the wound dry with gauze or a dry cloth.
- Apply a thin layer of Vaseline ointment with Q-tip.
- Cut Telfa to fit over the wound. If the wound is large or draining, place gauze over the Telfa. Secure the dressing with paper tape.
- Change dressing once daily. We recommend setting an alarm to remind you. It is important that the wound stays moist with the ointment and that a scab does not form.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 432-689-2512.