What to expect

On the morning of your surgery, you should eat breakfast and take your regular medicines. If you take coumadin, you should have your prescribing doctor check your INR the week prior to surgery.

Mohs surgery usually takes 2 to 3 hours, but may take longer. The time to process the tissue (freeze the skin tissue, thinly slice it, place it on slides, and stain the slides so that Dr. Balestra can read the slides under the microscope) is approximately 1 hour. While the tissue is processed, your wound is bandaged and you can relax in the waiting room. If there is still tumor present at the margins after Dr. Balestra checks your slides, then more tissue is taken only from the area still positive for tumor. This new tissue must be processed in the same manner to create new slides for Dr. Balestra to analyze. This process is repeated until all the tumor is cleared. Most Mohs cases are cleared after 1 or 2 stages, but sometimes more stages are required.

Once the tumor is removed, Dr. Balestra will discuss options for wound repair including granulation (allowing to wound to heal on its own), linear closure, flaps and grafts to decide on the best choice for you.

As a Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery, Dr. Balestra has the high level of skills, knowledge, and experience required to precisely remove your skin cancer while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact.