Typically, for a Relatively Minor MOHs Surgery, Post , when Can One Fly?

Doctor Answers 5

Flying after Mohs procedure

I've had people fly in to see me for Mohs and fly out later that day. Also, I've done Mohs on several pilots and they fly the next day because it's their job! There isn't an issue with altitude or anything like that. But it would be more about your comfort level, any minor pain, the need for the any stitches to be removed a week or so later, and any needed follow-up with your physician if there are any concerns. As long as you're not flying away to somewhere where you can't find a doctor if you need one, or can't reach your physician by phone, I'd say you can fly whenever you want.

Mohs surgery and activities/traveling

You should check with your Mohs surgeon as each surgeon has their own postoperative instructions. Generally for my patients, I recommend waiting to fly at least one week after the surgery. 99% of the time there is no need to see a patient but in the low chance of a postoperative side effect, it is preferable for the patient to come and see the surgeon who operated on them as they will be the most familiar with what is done. 

Omar Ibrahimi, MD, PhD
Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

When Can I Fly Post Mohs Surgery?

Thank you for your question. This is a difficult question to answer definitively, as every surgical case and patient is different. Generally it is recommended that a patient not travel for 1-2 weeks after surgery, as there will be a fresh and healing wound, sutures will need to be removed, and there is a potential risk for infection or wound complication. For these reasons, it is best not to fly and to be nearby one's surgeon in case of a untoward complication, and for standard post-surgical appointments. Assuming all goes well with suture removal and wound healing, your Board Certified Dermatologist or Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon will be able to guide you regarding appropriate times for resuming travel. I hope this helps.

Airline travel after Mohs

Ideally you should wait a few days after a smaller Mohs surgery before you travel by plane.  The first few days are when the risk of bleeding is greatest and you certainly would not want to be challenged with that issue while on a flight.  From a practical standpoint, if you needed to fly right after the procedure, you would want to bring with you a small (under 3 oz) icepack, Tylenol for any potential discomfort, and some gauze and bandages in case you needed them.  Also in an ideal world, you would have your wound checked the week after the surgery by the surgeon who performed it. 

When Can I Fly After Mohs Surgery?

Best option is to discuss with your surgeon. Everybody has different ways of managing patients in the post-operative period. I prefer to have patients in the area after surgery, just because in case there is a complication (such as bleeding or infection) I am available to see the patient and manage it. Complications are extremely rare but it's much easier to evaluate and manage them in person rather than with another doctor at another location. At the same time sometimes patients come from far away and in those cases we might see the patient the next morning and then send them back to their dermatologist or primary care physician for continued care. Good luck.

Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.