Mohs and Dermatological Surgery Clinic
451 Junction Road 5249 E. Terrace Drive
Madison, WI 53717 Madison, WI 53718
Mohs Micrographic Surgery was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs. He was a surgeon and researcher at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. Mohs Surgery Clinic evaluates and treats skin cancers, an uncontrolled growth of cells in the skin. There are many kinds of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma, the most common form, and squamous cell carcinoma. Most skin cancers can be cured if found and treated early.
Mohs surgery keeps as much normal tissue as possible and offers the highest cure rate. Other treatments include excision, burning and scraping, prescribed creams, or radiation.
Preparing for Surgery
On the day of your surgery, wash the area with antibacterial soap before coming to clinic. If the procedure is on your face, do not wear any make-up, including eye make-up. Wear comfortable layered clothing.
You may eat regular meals on the day of surgery, including breakfast. You may want to bring some snacks and beverages to eat and drink while you are in the waiting area. We suggest that you also might bring a book, magazine, or laptop computer. An MP3 player may be used during the surgery. As a courtesy to all patients and staff, we ask that all cell phones and pagers be turned off in the procedure rooms.
Take all regular prescribed medicines, including any prescribed for blood thinning. Medicines that relax you (anti-anxiety) can be taken if given by your referring provider. Bring them with you and take only after you have talked with the surgeon and agreed to the procedure. Do not take them at home. You will need to have a driver if you decide to use these medicines.
If your skin cancer is around your mouth or lips, you may need to take antibiotics before Mohs surgery if you have had a heart valve replacement, joint replacement, or organ transplant. Please talk with your own doctor before your appointment for instructions and prescriptions.
Bring a complete list of current medicines that you take, including dosage. Bring a list of your past and present health problems and surgeries. We need to know of any implanted devices such as a pacemaker or defibrillator. A form is included for you to record this information.
Relatives or friends may come with you to your appointment, but they will need to stay in the waiting room during the procedure. If you are having surgery on the face, especially in the eye area, forehead, or upper cheek, there may be swelling that affects vision. Because of this, or if you plan to take anti-anxiety or prescription pain medicines, you will need a driver.
Plan to be in our clinic for most or all of the day for removal and analysis of the tissue. Repair of a defect will follow once the clear margins are known. Schedule nothing else that day.
If you need to cancel your appointment, please call us as soon as possible and at least 24 hours before. This allows us to schedule other patients.
Day of Surgery
When you arrive, you will check in at the registration desk, or a kiosk, and then go to the clinic. In clinic, staff and the surgeon will talk about the treatment you will have. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. The tissue will be removed and sent to our Mohs laboratory. After the tissue is removed, any bleeding will be stopped and the area will be bandaged. You will wait in our clinic waiting area until the tissue is processed and analyzed by the surgeon. If any remaining cancer cells are seen, your surgeon will remove the involved areas. In this way, the process can be repeated as many times as needed until the margins are clear.
After all of the cancer is removed, your surgeon will decide what is best for healing. This may include healing naturally, closing with stitches, or doing a skin flap or graft. Rarely is there a need for repair by a plastic surgeon. Areas that are close to the eye sometimes need repair by an oculoplastic surgeon. It will depend on the size of the wound, location, and your preferences.
As with any surgery, there will be instructions to make sure of the best outcome for you. For a few days after surgery, you may have pain, fatigue and swelling which will limit how much you can do. Depending on the body part involved, you will have restrictions for one to several weeks. Your surgeon will talk with you after the surgery is done.
You will return to the Mohs clinic or see your local provider to have the stitches removed in 1 to 3 weeks depending on the site. You will need routine follow up skin exams. You may schedule these here, with your referring dermatologist, or with your primary doctor. The surgeon will decide this after your visit. All forms of skin cancer treatment will leave a scar. Most sites heal very well. Many take a full year. Future questions or concerns about the scar should be directed to our clinic.
Insurance and Billing
If you are being referred under a prepaid insurance program such as Physicians Plus, Dean Care HMO or Group Health Cooperative, please make sure that you have a referral from your provider before your visit here. This will avoid delays.
For UW Health physician billing questions call the UW Medical Foundation at 608-833-6090. For UW Health clinic billing questions call 608-262-2221.
Priceline can give estimates of cost at 608-263-1507.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/25/2013
Copyright © 02/25/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4616
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