SURGICAL

MOHS SURGERY AT DERMATOLOGY CENTER OF LA JOLLA

Mohs Surgery is a specific type of surgery that is used to treat and remove skin cancer. The surgery is characterized by removing small layers of the cancer at a time, reviewing these layers underneath a microscope, and removing more if needed. This type of procedure will prevent any excess skin from being removed. Mohs surgeons attend an additional fellowship to study this precise technique that offers the highest cure rate as well as the smallest scar possible for cancer removal.
Dr. Hamman attended Dermatology residency at UCSD and went on to the Mohs Micrographic Surgery fellowship there. He practices at both our Dermatology Center of La Jolla and Poway Dermatology locations and has performed over 1500 surgeries.

Dr. M. Shane Hamman Photo

Dr. M. Shane Hamman

How to Prepare for your Mohs Surgery

***Please arrive 15-20 minutes before your appointment time to allow for paperwork. Please check in at the front desk. Most Mohs Micrographic Surgery cases are scheduled in the morning.

Before Your Appointment

We request that you do not take aspirin, aspirin containing products (Anacin or Bufferin), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, etc.), or vitamin E, fish oil, or ginko biloba for one week before surgery. If your primary care physician has prescribed any of the above, be sure to check with him/her before discontinuing. You may substitute acetaminophen (Tylenol) if required. If you take aspirin prescribed by a physician because you have a history of stroke, heart attack, or other medical conditions, please continue to take aspirin as required.

Coumadin can be continued before surgery but the INR must not be greater than 3. Please coordinate with your prescribing physician to adjust the dosage if necessary. Do not drink any alcoholic beverages 24 hours before surgery.

If you have been advised in the past to take antibiotics before a surgical procedure, such as dental work, please check with us before your Mohs surgery appointment.

Shampoo your hair the night before the surgery, as your wound and initial dressing may have to remain dry for 24 hours or longer.

Please purchase the following items in order to care for your surgucal wound properly. All items are over-the-counter and are available in drug stores and pharmacies:

1. Ice pack

2. Paper tape, Gauze, or Telfa pad (non-stick)

3. Petroleum Jelly/Vaseline or Aquaphor and Cotton Swabs (Q-tips)

Get a good night’s sleep and take all of your medications unless directed otherwise by us.

You may and should eat as usual unless otherwise instructed.

Since you may be with us all day, please bring a good book, magazines to read or a laptop/iPad/tablet. Please bring earphones so that other patients are not disturbed. Although there are restaurants nearby, you may wish to bring your own lunch or a snack. We ask that you limit the number of people accompanying you to one person because of the limited space in our waiting room. Although we welcome a person to accompany you during the day, we will not permit people accompanying you into the procedure room during the surgery.

All surgery is done under local anesthesia. However, if the skin cancer is near the eye, please make arrangements to have someone drive you home because the bandage may obstruct your peripheral vision. Please make adequate arrangements.

You will be given complete instructions to take care of your surgical site after the surgery. If you feel as though you will be unable to care for the area yourself, please let us know in advance so that proper arrangements can be made.

Please Consider the Following

You should not get the area wet for 48 hours after surgery and you will have to avoid prolonged water exposure (swimming, bathing) and strenuous activities, including brisk walking and other forms of exercise for one to two weeks after surgery. Lesions on the lower leg may require some leg elevation for several days to weeks after surgery.

If your wound is repaired with a skin graft, you will have a bandage on it and be unable to get the area wet for up to seven to ten days after surgery.

You will need to return in one to two weeks for suture removal or wound check.

Please let us know if you are planning a trip or have commitments that could interfere with your healing process.

If you wish to reschedule or cancel an appointment, or if you have any questions at all, please let us know as early as possible by calling our office number listed below.

We appreciate your patience in waiting and preparing for this appointment. We look forward to seeing you on your appointment date.