Mohs Surgery Recovery

Conveniently located to serve Santa Monica

Mohs Surgery Recovery

Ralph A. Massey, MD Santa Monica & Encino, CA

Mohs surgery recovery involves healing after Mohs surgery, an outpatient procedure used to treat various types of skin cancer. This surgery uses a layer-by-layer excision and examination process to remove high-risk lesions while preserving healthy tissue. Following Dr. Massey’s directions for Mohs surgery recovery in Santa Monica is a vital part of the treatment process.


As you heal after surgery, you will need to take certain over-the-counter or prescription medications as directed by Dr. Massey. You may be directed to take acetaminophen to minimize pain, and you may be instructed to avoid medications like aspirin or ibuprofen in order to prevent excessive bleeding.

Wound Care

Mohs skin cancer surgery can leave behind a sizeable wound or gap. If skin reconstruction has been performed to restore the appearance of the area, patients will still need to take care of the area during recovey. Patients may also experience redness, bruising, and swelling during recovery, and it’s important to prevent bleeding and infection as the area heals.

Following your surgery, Dr. Massey will provide written instructions for aftercare at home, which may include:

  • Compressing the wound to prevent bleeding
  • Taking antibiotics to prevent infection
  • Keeping the wound dry for at least one full day after surgery

After twenty-four hours, you should use soap and running water to gently clean your wound, then rinse it off and blot it dry with a clean towel. Next, apply a thin layer of ointment as prescribed and cover the wound with a fresh bandage.

It may take up to six weeks for your wound to fully resolve. The surgery is likely to leave a scar, which may look pink or feel tight as it heals.

Avoid Strenuous Exercise

While you recover from Mohs surgery, you will need to make adjustments to your daily activities, including your exercise regimen. To help prevent complications after your surgery, avoid strenuous exercise and activities like lifting heavy objects and bending over for at least seven days.

If Dr. Massey approves, you can resume light exercises like stretching, walking, or yoga. Any exercise that involves touching or stretching the skin is off limits until your stitches are removed and Dr. Massey gives you the go-ahead.

Avoid Baths and Swimming

You can shower the day after your surgery, but to prevent infection, you should wait at least two weeks to take a bath, surf, or swim in an ocean, lake, or pool. After Dr. Massey removes your sutures or gives his approval, you can get back in the water.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol two days after your Mohs micrographic surgery. This will help to reduce the risk of bleeding and bruising during recovery.

Follow-Up Visits

After Mohs surgery, you will be scheduled to return in one to two weeks so that Dr. Massey can remove your stitches and check on your healing progress. He may schedule additional follow-up visits as needed to address any complications and monitor the appearance of your scar.

Because skin cancer carries a high risk of recurrence, Dr. Massey will also advise you to schedule periodic checkups once or twice a year to detect any new skin cancers.

Learn More Today

Mohs surgery recovery is an important step toward resuming a normal life after skin cancer. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ralph Massey and learn more about proper Mohs surgery recovery in Santa Monica.

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