In the medical/healing world, case studies are the “proof of the pudding.” Here we share with you not just testimonials from patients who successfully used our scientifically chosen music on pre-programmed headphones, but we give you more details on the patient and what type of procedure they were having and other specifics that might pertain to you or your patient.
We are always happy to provide more information about music with different type of medical/dental procedure and what our experience has been with that particular population!
Case History #1, 70 Year-Old Female with By-Pass Surgery
One of our first patients to use music during surgery, was a 70 year-old female with 90% blocked arteries. She had not yet experienced a heart attack, but was in grave danger of having one. She was moderately overweight and had a diet consisting of many fatty foods, fried foods, sugary foods and lots of diet soda. Her exercise level was almost non-existent because of arthritic hips, knees and other joint problems.
One Fall evening, she and her husband attended a local college basketball game at their coliseum. At half-time, the patient began to climb the stairs to the level where restrooms were and got so out of breath that she nearly passed out and could not continue the climb. First-aid staff was called and eventually patient was put into an ambulance and sent to the emergency room. Suspected heart attack was the initial diagnosis. After a short time, it was determined that she should be transferred to a larger, regional hospital with more services. This was when we were called in for a consult on whether or not music might be advisable.
The patient could not handle large amounts of anesthesia and was allergic to many pain meds,which made her violently nauseous. On day 3 of hospitalization I met with patient to discuss her taste in music and to recommend 4 or 5 different possibilities. Patient was not feeling well and was only mildly to moderately enthusiastic about using music with her upcoming open heart surgery. (This was 1996) Finally, patient said to me
“why don’t you just choose whatever you think would be best as long as it isn’t “Nearer my God to Thee.”
Surgery was early the next morning and patient listened to Handel’s “Water Music Suite” through light-weight headphones for about four hours of surgery. The surgeon called us back after surgery to see patient and was I in for a surprise! Upon approaching her bed in the recovery area, patient propped herself up on an elbow and said “Oh Dr. Cash, the music was BEAUTIFUL!!” I will never have surgery again without using music! It was just so beautiful and I really enjoyed it!!” Wow!
I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone before or since tell me that they enjoyed surgery, but then she was still “under the influence” of some of the drugs. When I visited her in her room the next day, she still had her headphones one and said they helped her sleep in an otherwise quite noisy environment. “A hospital is no place to get any rest and I want to go home as soon as possible.” She went home 5 days later and is still doing well and listening to her headphones!
“Dr. Cash, you have my permission to tell my story. I have a new respect for adding music to the surgery process.” Mrs. Hudnal
Case History #2, 62 Year-Old Man with Pacemaker Implantation
I fear going to the doctor. When I got married, I couldn’t even look at the nurse that did my blood test. A routine physical exam would leave me in a cold sweat and completely worn-out.
My dislike of the doctor’s office, the trip to the dentist, or a hospital visit was solved by “I just didn’t go to those places very often.” My health care system was based on “Denial of Need.” I would tell my wife:
“I don’t need to do that.”
“I don’t feel that bad.”
“I just need more sleep.”
The “Denial” system worked well when I was 21. I had no major medical situations when I was 31 or 41 or even 51. I was living a healthy life-style; I never had to spend the night in the hospital; I never had surgery.
At age 53, and over the next 10 years, my healthcare needs increased. I had a heart attack, open heart surgery, cardiac failure, and this year I had surgery to implant a defibrillator pacemaker. Turns out my family has a history of heart problems and my baby-boomer life-style wasn’t as healthy as I thought.
Am I still nervous or afraid of hospitals after 3 major surgeries and 4 hospital stays — Yes, but let me tell you what I did to improve my surgery experience:
I heard a seminar by Dr. Alice H. Cash and how she used music to help you work through the physical and mental stress of surgery.
I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 AM and was taken to the pre-surgery area. After shedding street clothes for a hospital gown, an IV inserted, another EKG, questions regarding my medicines, 5 nurses running in and out of the room; my fear of surgery was fully present. My heart rate was up, I broke into a cold sweat, my blood pressure dropped to 79/49, and I felt bad!
The nurses started an IV and I turned on the surgery music the Dr. Alice had specifically selected. Specific music to calm me down through a process known as entrainment. She specifically selected unknown music to prevent my brain from rendering images that might interfering with the entrainment process.
I listened to her music through the balance of pre-op, the surgery, and recovery.
When I awoke, my recovery nurse said every thing had gone well and my chart indicated I had received the “minimum of drugs.”
My surgery had lasted only 1 hour 50 minutes!
(The surgeon had planned on my surgery lasting between 2 and 6 hours based on amount of drugs needed and unknown complications.)
I was up and walking within 4 hours!
I went home the next morning!
I went home with no pain medicine other than Tylenol!
Was Dr. Alice’s music the basis for a successful surgery experience?
Of course I had a talented surgeon working with a great staff in a highly rated hospital. However I can also state: the music did positively affect my physical and mental state before, during, and after the surgery!
I needed the minimum of drugs
I recovered very quickly
I believe the music helped emotionally
Thank you Dr. Alice – Your help was priceless for a relatively small cost! John Henderson
PS: The surgeon had some very loud fast-tempo music playing. I was happy to have your calming headphones.
Case History #3, 51 year old woman with hysterectomy
One of the most interesting patients that I worked with was a 51 year old woman who was also a music therapist. She loved music so much but suffered from severe performance anxiety and so she could never play for others and had gone into another helping profession. However, her love of music was still intense and when she found that she could use the music she loved to help her through surgery, this is what she wanted to do!
She had been suffering from large fibroids, painful and heavy menstrual periods since her teens and was now being told that she needed a complete hysterectomy so that she would not have to worry about the cervical cancer that had claimed her mother’s life. Patient was extremely anxious about going under the knife, but believed that being able to listen to music as she went under general anesthesia and being able to wake up to the same gentle, rhythmic music would make it less terrifying for her.
On the day of the surgery, she was listening through her headphones from the moment she arrived at the hospital. There was a bit of a glitch, she reported, when they finally took her back to be gowned and given an IV. She said that having the soft, soothing music playing in her ears while they took her vital signs and asked a few last questions of her sister, was so comforting.
The surgery was a complete success and the patient reported that one of the best thing about having music was that it helped to orient her to where she was and what had just happened: the surgery. Despite rather bad nausea and vomiting in the ER, patient said that she still felt the music made it so much easier and more tolerable. Remember, fear is necessarily about logic and even having lots of “head” information. If you’re scared, you’re scared. Let the music go in with you and comfort you…all the way!
Case History #4, Dental Surgery
Whenever I mention using music for surgery, everyone says “have you thought about using the Serenity Headphones for dental surgery? Why yes, that has been one intended use from the beginning! It definitely makes sense, since the sound of the dental drill is one of the most un-nerving sounds on the planet. My dentist has had headphones available for years, but they are the kind that plug into the wall and there are so many cords near the chair I choose not to use his at all. Plus, they are set just to play the radio station that office staff chooses which I don’t usually prefer.
Here’s a patient’s account from Canada: ” I had my dental surgery on Wednesday, April 8th with your surgery music and it was wonderful. I had begun listening to the music ahead of time, so they were like old friends when surgery time rolled around. Benefits were I kept expecting to be nervous as the date of surgery rolled around, but found I couldn’t summon up any anxiety! I was sure I wouldn’t be able to sleep prior to the surgery, but, guess what, I slept well! I was calm and relaxed befor the surgery; my blood pressure dropped to normal limits; the dentist and staff tucked me in, made sure the music was playing, and away we went. Post-op I was still relaxed-had a sleep and had little pain. I had a bunch of work done. I did take an Advil at bedtime just for “insurance” but really didn’t need it. Thank you Dr. Cash, for your beautiful music and the cordless pre-programmed headphones!” Anne Thoen, Alberta, Canada So, if you have a sensitive mouth, need some dental work and want to try a tested and proven method of coping with dental pain and anxiety, I suggest you get our headphones, which come pre-programmed and fully charged! Or you can purchase a download of the serenity music to load on your own MP3 player or iPod! Best wishes for a successful surgery!
Case History #5, 69 Year Old Female with Eye Surgery
This patient came to me as a result of previous negative experiences with her eye surgeries and was scheduled to have more eye surgeries. The patient was a professional woman who had heard about music with surgery and the many benefits, especially in terms of stress relief and pain and anxiety management. The patient was suffering from both macular degeneration and glaucoma and needed to undergo procedures that required her to be both awake and sitting upright in a chair. She had already undergone three such procedures and reported that after each one she had a migraine headache and muscles that were so tense and tight and even a one-hour massage did not help enough. She had reached the point where she was willing to do anything in order not to suffer so much from these procedures.
Listen to the patient as she describes what happened:
If you have been told that you need to have eye surgery for any reason, whether lasik eye surgery, cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery or macular degeneration surgery, I strongly recommend that you consider using the surgical serenity headphones. They are currently being used at both the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, as well as other hospitals around the country. They will put you in a healing, sonic cocoon, and yet you can still hear the doctor if he needs to ask you a direct question. For more information, go towww.SurgicalHeadphones.com.
Case History #6, 61 Year Old Female with Hand Surgery
This patient was a 61 year-old female with a long history of chronic pain, resulting from a degenerative bone disease and dozens of resulting surgeries. She is the unfortunate victim of a herditary disease, which she inherited from both sides of the family. The condition, unique to people to Scandinavian heritage, in which the bones in the body simply begin to soften and deteriorate internally. This patient had undergone 49 surgeries prior to this one, on nearly every possible area of her body. In addition, she was a professional musician who had retired at least 20 years previously because of her bone disease and frequent surgeries. Patient was on large amounts of chronic pain medication and not a good candidate for general anesthesia, and yet, this was what her hand surgeon was about to use with her. When she discovered the Surgical Serenity Headphones, she was ecstatic! After some conversation and a consult, we decided that she would be an ideal candidate and she ordered them! Because she was in Louisville, I went down to the hospital and was able to assist her in getting the headphones on correctly and the volume adjusted because she had to remove her hearing aids for the surgery. At that moment pain reported that she was feeling calmer than usual and that she believed the headphones and beautiful music were the main contributors to that. Here is what she wrote to me after the surgery: “Dr. Cash, I cannot tell you what a difference your Serenity Headphones made to me during this 51st surgery of my life! After putting them on that morning in the pre-surgery area, I began listening and was able to pretty much ignore all the hustle and bustle going on around me. I was put into a another dimension, it seemed, where all was beautiful and soothing and I did not feel afraid. After they had wheeled me into surgery, I was conscious but groggy. I went to sleep lstening to the beautiful music and, next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery area and the music was still playing. This was something brand-new because I actually woke up to the music and was not aware of pain until much later, and even then, the pain was quite tolerable. I believe that the music kept me from tightening up my muscles, as I usually do without realizing it, and let the medications work faster and easier because they didn’t have to fight my clenched hands and arms and shoulders. It makes sense, doesn’t it?! Anyway, thank you so very much for creating something that will help me from now on and will also hopefully, help millions of other surgery patients in the years to come!” Sincerely, Sheryl S.Louisville, KY
Case History #7, 3 Year Old Boy with Open Heart Surgery
Initially, the customer was a very anxious grandmother. She ordered the headphones but wasn’t at all sure that this would help. After receiving the headphones, her anxiety level was so high, even though she was a retired nurse, that she could not carefully read the instructions to make sure her headphones were charged fully. Initially she sent me an email that conveyed her level of frustration and despair and I, of course, wrote her back immediately to reassure her. Her only grandchild was having open heart surgery and the procedure was having procedure to replace a valve and apprently there was considerable risk involved. Grandmother had read about the benefits of music during surgery and when she discover our Surgical Serenity Headphones, she was determined to get them for her grandson. Because Grandmother was terrified of losing her grandson, she was greatly comforted to learn of all the research that documents that reduced anesthesia, reduced pain medication, and faster recovery frequently result, when music is added to the procedure; and that music through headphones is even better because they create a healing, protective “cocoon” for the patient, so that the patient doesn’t hear conversations, music that the doctor has chosen for himself, or operating room sounds such as cutting, snipping, and other sounds that may be disconcerting. The surgery was scheduled for mid-August, 2012. On August 22, I received this letter from Grandmother: The heart surgery was excellent but “Jason” (not his real name!) did have a few issues as far as recovery is concerned during the first 3 days. During that time he listened to the headphones almost constantly. Not only did they serve to keep him calm most of the time, but also importantly utilized to keep out the side noises of people and hospital equipment. By the third day I realized “Jason” was using the headphones to “escape” (he seemed depressed), so I made a rule that he could only use them at night to go to sleep. We corrected the issues which had to do with the pain medication and today he is doing fabulously! His happy personality is once again showing through with lots of smiles. We are so happy! Thanks Alice for asking and for thinking about us and also for the opportunity for “Jason” to recover with your healing music. All the Best to You and Your Family, Needless to say, I love getting these letters and finding out that music really does make a difference for people of all ages! This patient was my youngest by far, and I was worried that the headphones might be too big, but his grandmother was able to get them situated on his little head so that he heard the music throughout his surgery, as well as before and after. We’ve created a new brief description of what our headphones do: “Delivering healthy music and rhythm…stabilizing vital signs and decreasing side-effects of anesthesia.” What more could you want?
Case History, #8, 65-year old male having cataract surgery
Cataract Surgery: Our headphones continue to be used with a wide variety of surgeries and procedures. One of the most recent was a cataract surgery with a 65-year-old male patient. The patient was moderately anxious before the procedure, primarily because he didn’t want to be sidelined too long with anesthesia related “brain fog.” When he heard about the anesthesia-sparing benefits of music, he was eager to try them.
The patient put the headphones on as soon as he arrived at the surgery center for outpatient surgery. As you can see from the picture, he was comfortable enough with the fit and the music to start working immediately on his iPhone! Patient reports that one of the things he appreciated most about his nearly 60-minute wait prior to prep, was that he didn’t have to listen to other people’s conversations or the TV that was playing in the waiting room.
When patient was finally called back, he continued listening to the soothing, rhythmic music
as gown was donned and IV inserted. The next photo reflects his calm and readiness to go into cataract surgery: Patient reported that in addition to cataract surgery, he was also getting an implant to improve his near-sightedness.
After the surgery, the patient said that the music had accompanied throughout the entire surgery and that when he woke up from the anesthesia, he immediately remembered where he was and why he was there. He said that in previous surgeries he had awakened not knowing where he was and feeling nauseous. This time, he felt calm, alert, focused, and ready to go home.
The operating team said that he had taken a minimum of anesthesia and no pain medication at all. He was sent home with nothing more than the usual eye drops every few hours, eye protector and advil, if needed, and which he did not need. Patient says that he is so glad that he used the headphones and that he will always do so in the future!