Why do you need headphones and music during surgery?

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Having surgery is a dangerous thing, but sometimes not having surgery is more dangerous.  If you’ve been told that you need to have surgery, there are certain risks you will want to be aware of:

Anesthesia reactions:

Most problems that arise during surgery are the result of the surgery, not the sedation for the procedure. While uncommon, there are very serious complications that can occur if a patient has a reaction to the anesthesia drugs.

Most problems associated with anesthesia are related to the process of intubation, or inserting the breathing tube.  Aspiration, or breathing food or fluid into the lungs, can be a problem, during surgery. Some patients also experience an increased heart rate or elevated blood pressure during the process.

The problem of anesthesia awareness has been discussed a great deal in the media, but waking during surgery or being awake throughout the surgery, is a very rare when anesthesia is provided by an anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Malignant hyperthermia, a reaction to anesthesia that causes the patient’s temperature to rise rapidly, is life threatening.  A patient who has had malignant hyperthermia in the past has a significant increase in risk and should discuss the issue with their surgeon and anesthesia provider. (information can be found on http://surgery.about.com/od/beforesurgery/a/RisksSurgery.htm)

How can music help?  When patients have begun relaxing before their procedure with slow, familiar, favorite   music, it is only natural that their bodies and muscles are not as tense and therefore the patient can be put to sleep more easily and with less anesthesia.  When the music is continued, through cordless headphones, througout the surgery, the patient’s body stays relaxed and music with a steady, slow pulse, synchronizes the heartrate and breathing.   Again, because the body is staying relaxed with the slow, steady music, less anesthesia is needed and the patient wakes up soon, still listening to the music through headphones, and requires less pain medication.

Several studies are in process right now, around the U.S. and doctors, hospitals, and patients are quite excited about the possibilities of a safer and a kinder procedure.  The headphones that I have programmed with the ideal music for surgery are available now and can be overnighted to you if you need them quickly.  If you have financial constraints, let me know and I will work with you to be able to get them.  One day, music and headphones will be available in hospitals around the world.  Don’t wait!

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