Reusing surgical instruments during mohs micrographic surgery: Safe from infection, but not free from risk

Tatyana A. Petukhova, Thomas H. King, Kenny J. Omlin, Daniel B Eisen

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


We report several scenarios of compromise in patient safety owing to the re-use of mis-assigned patient’s surgical instruments in Mohs micrographic surgery. We discuss the breaks in universal protocols that others may experience in their practices and describe corrective measures that our institutions employed to avoid such future events. There is a lack of publication in the literature on the topic of mis-assigned instrument use in Mohs surgery. We believe that the practice of re-using instruments is cost-effective and therefore common. Based on our humbling experience, this publication may initiate important discussion among dermatologist regarding safety protocols at their respective institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalDermatology Online Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2016



  • Dermatologic surgery
  • Medical error
  • Mis-assigned patient surgery
  • Mohs micrographic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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