How to Reduce Swelling and Bruising After Mohs Surgery


Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a specialized surgery commonly used to remove skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma, on the face, head and neck. After a surgeon removes all traces of the skin cancer the skin is sutured back together or the wound repaired with a skin graft or skin flap. Because most patients return home right after the Mohs surgery is complete, it’s up to the individual patient to treat swelling and bruising at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice pack
  • Clean cloth
  • Acetaminophen

Step 1

Apply an ice pack to the surgical site 10 minutes every hour for the first 24 hours. Wrap the ice pack in a clean towel then place it directly over any pressure bandages or other sterile bandages your surgeon has placed over the incision. Cold from the ice pack helps reduce both swelling and any bruising that may result.

Step 2

Elevate your head or neck above your heart. Use a few pillows when sleeping to keep your body and head propped up. If your surgical site begins to throb or hurt when you lay down, add another pillow to the stack to elevate your head further.

Step 3

Remain sitting and upright as much as possible. Avoid bending over to pick up objects off the floor or to tie your shoes. If you need something from below, bend at the knees to keep your head above your heart. Ask others to help get objects located on lower shelves or the floor.

Step 4

Rest as much as possible. Avoid strenuous activities that raise your heart rate to allow your incision time to heal.

Step 5

Take Acetaminophen or a doctor-prescribed pain medication specific to your Mohs surgery to reduce discomfort.

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