How To Recover From Mohs Surgery

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, your dermatologist may recommend a popular surgery to remove it called Mohs surgery. This unique and thorough surgical procedure involves taking one layer of tissue at a time and examining it under a microscope. If there are cancerous cells in that particular piece of tissue, your dermatologist will remove another piece and another until it comes back clear. Depending on how deep the skin cancer went, you may have a bigger scar than others. 

Because the procedure is considered a surgery, you will want to do everything you can to follow recovery tips. Here are a few recovery tips for you to follow. 

Ice for Swelling

Depending on where you had the surgery done, you may experience some swelling. To help alleviate the swelling, apply an ice pack for 20 minutes every hour for the first 48 hours after surgery. Just make sure that you are placing something like a towel in between the skin and an ice pack so that it doesn't give you what's called an ice burn (a burn caused by the ice pack). 

Avoid Exercising or Heavy Lifting

Patients are encouraged to avoid any sort of exercising or heavy lifting for anywhere from 7–21 days after Mohs surgery, which will give your body enough time to fully heal. The area where you got surgery will determine which type of exercises you should avoid and for how long. For instance, if you had surgery on your legs, you won't want to do any cardio work that involves moving your legs too much. 

Wear Sunscreen

If you have learned one thing from getting a skin cancer diagnosis, it's that you need to wear sunscreen every day or at least every time that you're out in the sun. Immediately after surgery, your skin is going to be extra sensitive to the sun around the surgical site. Make sure to cover it up or apply a thick layer of sunscreen so that it doesn't get any exposure.  

Also, make sure that you invest in a daily moisturizer that has sunscreen in it so that you can get into the habit of wearing a daily sunscreen. 

Mohs surgery is easy to recover from, and everything should go smoothly. If you want to learn a little bit more about recovery, reach out to a dermatologist about the different skin cancer treatments available and how to recover from them.