Preparing for Surgery

Although all surgical procedures done at the Skin Cancer and Dermatology Center are outpatient procedures, they still require you to take certain precautions and steps to prepare to insure the best outcome. Below you will find some tips to help you prepare for surgery. 

7-10 Days Before Surgery


Smoking interferes with wound healing, so we ask smokers to refrain at least two weeks before surgery and two weeks after.

Blood Thinners

If you are taking a blood thinning medication because you have had a stroke, artificial heart valve, blood clot or heart attack, you should remain on it for the surgery. While this may increase minor bleeding during the procedure and bruising afterward, it is less dangerous than having another stroke, heart attack, or blood clot.


If you are taking one of these medications for a preventative reason, check with your primary care physician to see if its is safe to stop them 7-days before surgery and two days after.  Do not stop any medication with consulting your doctor.

  • Aspirin or products that contain aspirin (e.g., Alka-Seltzer, Excedrin)    
  • Plavix 
  • Coumadin (Warfarin)
  • Xeralto
  • Eliquis
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Tylenol, or its generic form, acetaminophen, are okay to take if needed pre and post surgery.
Vitamins and Supplements

The following vitamins and supplements can increase risk of intra-and post-operative bleeding. If you take any of these supplements, please discontinue you them 2 weeks prior to surgery and for 1 week there after.

  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Garlic
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Fish oil
  • Other herbal supplements

Let Us Know

Are you anxious about your surgery?

Surgical procedures are preformed at Dr. Leithauser’s office under local anesthesia, so you will be awake during the procedure. The use of local anesthesia versus general anesthesia provides numerous benefits, including preventing a lengthy recovery and possible side effects from general anesthesia  You are completely numb in the area of the surgery, though, so the procedure is comfortable. If you think you might be anxious the day of surgery, let Dr. Leithauser or her office staff know in advance. and she will  be happy to prescribe a mild sedative to help you feel more relaxed the day of surgery. 

Are you at risk of serious infection?

If you had an artificial joint replacement with in the past two years, an artificial heart valve or are immuno-compromised, please let Dr. Leithauser and her office staff know, as an antibiotic may be prescribed prophylactically to decrease risk of serious infections. 

24 Hours Before Surgery

To protect against raised blood pressure and increased bleeding, we ask that you not drink alcohol at least 24 hours before and after your surgery.

Get a good meal and plenty of sleep the night prior

Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery, we ask that you:

  • Take a bath or shower, shampooing your hair and soaping the general surgical area to reduce the risk of infection 
  • Avoid makeup if the surgery is on your face
  • Take all scheduled, prescribed medications including blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol drugs. 
  • Eat a normal breakfast
  • Wear warm, comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Bring food or snacks and something to pass the time such as a newspaper or book — be prepared to spend at least 3-4 hours through the morning and early afternoon, though the procedure length depends on the tumor’s size, location and complexity
  • You are welcome to bring a relative or friend with you.