Macular Degeneration with Surgical Serenity Solutions


Macular degeneration surgery with Surgical Serenity Solutions.  I’m always thrilled to hear about a patient having surgery with our music headphones, having a postive experience.  Today I opened my mail and found this wonderful letter from Virginia Hibbs, a newer patient/client of mine who wanted to share this with the world:

What A Difference Surgical Serenity Music Makes!

“Two weeks ago I had surgery for an eye condition connected with my hereditary  gene pool of macular degeneration plus glaucoma.  It was my third surgery in a series of operations.  And I was not getting bette r(emotionally) at the agonizing experience as the surgeries continued. However my vision was much improved even as my stress about the experiences continued.

I entered the operating area with a level of trepidation, tension, and discomfort. Knowing the other three surgeries had triggered a series of migraine headaches which were “activity stopping everyday life” due to my allergies to the dilation drops and anesthesia, I was less than happy to submit to a day or more in bed. I love my usual action packed days as an active financial planner and community volunteer. This surgery was done on August 7, 2010.

My neck reflected my state of mind, and the tension created a painful stiffness.  On the day after the surgery after my usual hours the day before in a darkened room with a blinding head ache, my eye was doing wonderfully, my head was well, but my neck was still in sad shape.  After therapeutic massage, my neck began to recover and to function without pain. And life regained its normal rhythm as I returned to my office where my financial practice is centered around a conservative investment style for retirement income planning.

Due to a perfectly timed meeting with Dr. Alice Cash, my fourth eye surgery last week was a contrast in levels of misery. This surgery was completed on August 14, 2010.  Eye surgery will never be my favorite Monday activity!  Going into the operation with a calm, serene attitude, due to the lovely piano music from my Surgical Serenity Music Program  made all the difference. My migraine headache was over in a few hours instead of half a day.

As instructed. I listened to the music for an hour the day before my surgery.  I listened to the music for about 1 ½ hours before the surgery on Monday morning, and all during the procedure.  In fact, I still kept the music playing during my recovery period.  I had no tense muscles, no shooting neck pain, no discomfort during the laser surgery.  My body was in a state of relaxation, and I felt confident that my surgery experience would be a better chapter in the continuing saga of maximum vision preservation.

It is wonderful to know that a professional in the field of art, music and medicine, Dr. Alice Cash, has invented an easy tool, as simple to operate as a CD player.  It allows  us to tune into the world of music, tune out the discomforts of surgery, and be a part of a larger vision during a time of pain and anxiety.

Directions for use are so simple that even during the stress of the surgery experience it is easy to get the music playing at the correct volume. The MP3 player has intuitive buttons which work simply.

Less anesthesia is needed during surgeries.  Natural healing is faster, and our psyches become engaged with sensory perceptions outside the surgery experience. It is a win-win for the patient, the family  who are the support system.”         Virginia Hibbs

To purchase some for yourself, click HERE


Can Heart Surgery Make You More Emotional?


Robin says heart surgery "broke his barrier" and made him more emotional

About 15 years ago, my mother underwent an emergency heart-bypass surgery.  The surgeons said they wouldn’t know how many arteries they had to bypass until they got in there.  When they did get in, they found that five by-passes were necessary!  It was a long surgery, but she did use music and said she would never again have surgery without using music!

When I visited her in the recovery area, less than an hour after her surgery, she said things to me she had never said…things that were very loving and sweet and it consumed me with joy and happiness that I had never felt before.  My mother has never been a demonstrative person, but it was as though the surgery removed an emotional blockage in her heart that allowed her to be affirming and loving and sweet in a way that I had always longed for!

(as quoted on  The Hollywood actor famously underwent open-heart surgery early last year, when one of his valves was replaced with that of a pig. Although Robin has recovered now, the star admits the experience hugely changed him as a person, putting him far more in touch with his feelings.

“Oh, God, you find yourself getting emotional. It breaks through your barrier, you’ve literally cracked the armour. And you’ve got no choice, it literally breaks you open. And you feel really mortal,” he told British newspaper The Guardian.

Since he first found fame in the 70s, Robin has enjoyed a long acting career and is considered one of the most hardworking stars in the movie industry. He has appeared in movies such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets’ Society and The Fisher King.

But since experiencing ill health last year, 59-year-old Robin says he wants to take his professional life far more slowly. He regrets making so many movies during the 90s, although he doesn’t pinpoint any particular films.

Robin accepted so many roles because he was worried his fans would forget him, and he fears this made him take parts he perhaps didn’t value artistically.

“In one two-year period I made eight movies. At one point the joke was that there’s a movie out without you in it. You have this idea that you’d better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous. And then you realise, no, actually if you take a break people might be more interested in you. Now, after the heart surgery, I’ll take it slow,” he explained.


Surgeon reports that music during surgery has many benefits


By TERRY RINDFLEISCH/La Crosse Tribune –

Jane Zellmer was anxious about her second knee replacement surgery.

The first surgery on her left knee was done under general anesthesia. She said she doesn’t do well under general anesthesia, and she had a difficult time waking up and was nauseous the first time.

This time the 54-year-old Ettrick, Wis., woman wanted spinal anesthesia, which would allow her to be conscious while numbing her right knee.

Zellmer also chose music to help with her anxiety and make her relax. Mike Jacobson, a nurse anesthetist at Franciscan Skemp, had a library of music from which she could pick. She chose her favorite music, country, and a favorite artist, George Strait.

With her headphones on, she listened to Strait’s music during surgery.

“It was very calming listening to the music, and I was comfortable,” Zellmer said. “I was nervous about the spinal anesthesia, but the music helped me relax.

“I felt like I was lying in the sun with headphones on,” she said. “Music did its thing, and it was a place to go, something to escape into. The spinal anesthesia and music worked real well together.”

For several years, a number of hospitals, including Franciscan Skemp and Gundersen Lutheran, have offered music to patients during surgery. Zellmer heard about the use of music through a friend who listened to music during surgery at Gundersen Lutheran.

More and more hospitals are using music for patients because research is showing it helps reduce moderate pain and anxiety, and it might result in less sedation and faster recovery.

A Yale University showed patients listening to music required much less sedation during surgery. Another study showed listening to music helps minimize the rise in blood pressure associated with surgery. Researchers say the best results are likely to come from people being able to listen to the music of their own choice rather than being given music thought to be soothing.

For many years, surgery rooms have been filled with the sound of music selected by and for surgeons.

“Music often helps surgeons relax, and some like it for background music,” Jacobson said. “One surgeon likes very loud rock ’n’ roll.

“Patients have their own music option, but it’s the surgeon’s choice in the room,” he said. “I’ve never been asked what I want to hear, but I think whatever music helps the surgeon is a good choice.”

Dr. Mark Connelly, a Gundersen Lutheran facial plastic surgeon, has played music in his operating room for more than 25 years. He has a CD of Broadway show tunes, pop, country and classical music.

“The music is soothing, and it helps me relax,” Connelly said.

“Occasionally, the staff will sing along to ‘Stand By Your Man,’” he said. “Surgeons get to choose the music, but it’s nice when the operating group likes it.”

Jacobson is one of the DJs at Franciscan Skemp. He is in charge of a cart of CDs from which patients can choose, or they can bring in their own CDs.

“Some people like country, some like classical and some New Age, but more patients like soothing music,” Jacobson said. “Music does help calm the patient.”

Dr. Marisa Baorto, a Franciscan Skemp anesthesiologist, said music is used in conjunction with “conscious sedation,” such as spinal and regional anesthesia, for surgeries such as foot, carpal tunnel, knee replacement and breast biopsies.

Baorto said some pregnant women bring in their own music to listen to during labor.

“A lot of patients enjoy the music, and then they don’t have to hear what’s going on in surgery,” Baorto said. “Music helps them phase out and get less sedation.”

Jacobson said he can tell the difference in patients who enjoy the music.

“We can tell the patient is more calm,” Jacobson said. “I don’t think it is fluff. There are benefits to the patient, even some benefits during general anesthesia.”


Another Surgery Headphones satisfied customer


More and more, I am asking people to be sure and let me know what their experience was with the Surgical Serenity Headphones. This dear man surprised me yesterday by posting a video testimonial on my Facebook page!

I am so gratified by the publics reaction to my headphones and thrilled that people are suggesting new uses for them to me on a regular basis. I am always happy to do an email or telephone consultation with people that are considering using the headphones! Just let me know if you are interested or curious!


Music as Anesthesia Study Done at Yale: results are postive!


According to a new study, listening to music when you go under the surgical knife can significantly reduce your need for sedation. Anesthesiologists at the Yale School of Medicine ran a study that included 90 patients undergoing “urological procedures with spinal anesthesia and patient-controlled IV propofol sadation.” From a press release about the paper, published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia:

The subjects wore headphones and were randomly assigned to hear music they liked, white noise or to wear no headphones and be exposed to operating room noise. Dropping a surgical instrument into a bowl in the operating room can produce noise levels of up to 80 decibels, which is considered very loud to uncomfortably loud.

What they found is that blocking the sounds of the operating room with white noise did not decrease sedative requirements of listening to operating room sounds. Playing music did reduce the need for sedatives during surgery.

Dr. Alice Cash has created wireless/cordless headphones for surgery that are pre-programmed by a clinical musicologist (herself) with the most ideal music for surgery. This happens to be classical music and since the patient is asleep (under general anesthesia) it is more important to have the right tempo of music and the right mood music, than to let the patient choose what they’d like to hear…if they could hear it! To read more about these headphones, click here.

Dr. Cash also has a download of this ideal music availalbe here. You can download the music onto your own iPod or MP3 device and take it into surgery with you.

The wireless headphones are already in use at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota as well as the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. If you, or someone you love, is having surgery in the near future, please check out these options. It could just save your life!


Music during surgery: Why???


This is an excerpt from a guest lecture I gave at a major University in the South. People around the world are realizing the benefits that music for the patient during surgery can offer. Reduced amounts of anesthesia and pain medication can greatly speed up recovery time and make the entire procedure safer as a result of less anesthesia. Especially for older adults, frail adults and all children, the less anesthesia your body has to have the better! Of course the patient will be receiving enough that there is no pain or awareness of the procedure. To learn more about the use of music headphones, click on this link.