Waking up during surgery: a true story


Today I had a very nice gentleman in my office to talk about composing some surgery music. Little did I know that he had a very personal interest in the process. After talking for nearly an hour, he revealed that he had undergone surgery not that long ago for a torn knee meniscus.   He said that the surgeon was using a regional block and that he had been given something to make him drowsy and unaware.  Apparently, at some point he “came to” and unexpectedly saw his knee surgery in process. At that point, he passed out again from the shock of what he saw.

Now nobody wants to wake up in the midst of surgery, but anesthesia administration is a tricky matter and everyone’s requirements are a little different.  Anesthesiologists strive to give the least amount of anesthesia to get the job done, but it’s not a perfect art or science and occasionally people do wake up unexpectedly.

How can music help?  When the right kind of music is also being administed through cordless headphones, the patient typically remains more relaxed and needs less anesthesia to stay that way.  If you’re having surgery of any kind, please check out what the doctors, medical journals, media and other patients have to say! http://www.surgicalheadphones.com.


New Study Confirms that Music in Surgery is Powerful and Positive


J Perianesth Nurs. 2010 Dec;25(6):387-91.
Implementation of music as an anesthetic adjunct during monitored anesthesia care.

Newman A, Boyd C, Meyers D, Bonanno L.

Operating room sounds and music can be influential on a patient’s experience, especially during monitored anesthesia care (MAC). In this article, the effect of music and noise on patients during MAC was assessed. The Bispectral Index (BIS) Monitor was used to evaluate the effect of music on the level of sedation or anesthesia in the articles reviewed. A review of current literature was completed regarding the use of music in the OR during MAC cases and its relationship to propofol sedation requirements. Ten journal articles were reviewed with publication dates ranging from 1997 to 2009. The use of music as an anesthetic adjunct during MAC cases can reduce the amount of sedation required, speed recovery time, and prevent the likelihood of converting to a general anesthetic.

Copyright © 2010 American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21126669 [PubMed – in process]