Video Production by Josh Melendez

This video covers the information you need and the steps to follow before your upcoming dermatology surgery.

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Video Transcript:

♪ [music] ♪ So, today’s video is going to be addressing how you prepare for your upcoming dermatology procedure.

Now, fortunately for us most procedures in dermatology are relatively easy, relatively simple. And by this I mean that you are not going to be undergoing general anesthesia for your procedure. It’s all going to be done locally. That means you’re going to be numbed very similar to how you were for the biopsy.

So, it’s just local numbing, you’re awake the whole time. And for this reason, we don’t need you to fast for 12 to 24 hours prior to the surgery. We want you to come in with a full belly of what you normally eat. We want you to be as comfortable as possible. Please also wear clothing that is easy to take on, easy to take off, that will not disturb the surgical site.

We also don’t want you coming in with a pressed white shirt and your dress clothes. We don’t want those to get ruined and they could get stained during the surgical procedure. All right, next topic, it’s kind of a big topic about medications and supplements. The general rule of thumb is if a provider has told you to take a medication, then you keep taking it, you do not stop something a provider has told you to take.

Please let us know what it is so that we can prepare, but do not stop taking anything, whether that’s an over-the- counter medication, a supplement, or a prescription. Now, if there’s just things that you take because you think they’re a good idea, we would like you to stop those for two weeks prior to the surgical procedure.

In particular, we’d like you to stop a category of medications that are found over the counter called NSAIDs. And these include your aspirins, your Motrins, and your Aleves. These medications will thin your blood which will cause more bleeding, which will cause more work for us, which means potentially more complications for you.

So, if a provider has not told you to take one, then please stop those for two weeks prior. Now these are normally taken for aches and pains, so if you have those for two weeks prior please take Tylenol. If you’re allowed to take that. For supplements, the big supplements that cause thinning in blood are garlic, ginseng, glucosamine, and fish oil. Please stop those for two weeks prior.

For prescription medications, those have been prescribed, so you have to keep taking those, but please let us know beforehand what you’re taking so that we can prepare. Other things to let us know is if you’ve ever had a complication from a surgery before. This could be problems with the anesthesia, problems with the suture, problems with infections, problems with a surgical scar not turning out how you wanted, so maybe it spread, maybe it got thicker.

Any surgical complications that you’ve had in the past, please let us know. Please also let us know if you have any artificial pieces in you. So, artificial heart valve, maybe a pacemaker or a defibrillator, maybe an artificial joint or a joint replacement. Please let us know about that before the surgery so that we can prepare not only before, but also during and after for your surgery.

Anything else that you are concerned with, please ask us. Please let us know what your concerns are. The more we have a dialog with each other, the better everything will go. And last, we always encourage you to bring a chaperone. You know, sometimes these procedures can be emotionally taxing, so having a friend or a loved one to take you to and from the procedure is always a good idea.

And as always, we thank you for allowing us to help you become comfortable in your skin. After watching this video, please also watch the procedure video, the post operation video, and the potential complications video, so that you can get the best outcome possible.

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About the author

Dr. Reagan Anderson

Dr. Anderson is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Mohs Micrographic Surgeon. He serves as a Clinical Professor of Dermatology and a Dermatology Residency Director at Rocky Vista University and is actively involved in patient and healthcare provider education on dermatology conditions and treatment.

Colorado Dermatology Institute
8580 Scarborough Drive / 1220 Lake Plaza Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado