C-Section: How can you create a memorable experience?

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One of the biggest populations to benefit from the Surgical Serenity Solution is women who are preparing for childbirth, know that they will probably have a C-section for various reasons.   A C-section is considered major surgery, but the reason for it, ultimately is a happy reason.  The normal recovery time for a healthy young woman is about a month.

The patient in this photo was waiting for her first child to be delivered by C-section.  She happened to be a professional musician and was fairly skeptical about whether or not music through headphones could make a difference for the tremendously anxious and fearful patient.

C-section Serenity Headphones

Waiting to go into surgery.

When the procedure was over and patient was home with her new daughter, she had this to say:  “I am so glad that I used the Surgical Serenity Solution!  As it turned out, I was put in a big room with other women waiting for C-sections and they were very noisy, some fussing and yelling at their husbands, talking loudly on their phones to family members, some even crying!  If I had not had these wonderful headphones, I don’t think I could have stood all the commotion.  I took the headphones off for the actual delivery, but put them back on when I got to recovery.  I’ve been using them at home just to relax when baby is sleeping and I look forward to using them for years to come!!  Thank you Dr. Cash!”

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Pacemakers and Music: Information you should have!

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One of the primary function of a pacemaker is to restore functional rhythm to the human heart.  Knowing what we know about rhythmic entrainment, what could be better for the patient that using a strong, steady, soothing rhythmic pulse during the pacemaker implantation process!

According to the the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:

“Heart pacemakers, artificial joints, intraocular lenses, and other medical implants are widely used in the United States, where an estimated 8 to 10 percent of the population has a medical implant. However, medical implant recipients often have unrealistic expectations of the risks and benefits associated with those implants, a technology assessment panel convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded.”

They continued:

“To address issues regarding patient expectations, the panel recommended that the informed consent process prior to receiving an implant include discussion of benefits, risks, potential complications, expected longevity of the device, need for follow up, and possible future examination of the implant. The panel also urged that attention be directed toward reducing legal and economic disincentives to medical implant retrieval and analysis.”

So, understandably, a person who is about to undergo a pacemaker implantation would be quite scared!!  One of our Surgical Serenity Solutions customers had this to say, after his procedure was finished!

 

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Have YOU heard about Heart Surgery with Music

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There are hundreds of different surgeries that a human can undergo, but one of the most frequently performed is surgery on the heart.  According to one hospital site:

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the most common type of heart surgery. CABG       improves blood flow to the heart. Surgeons useCABG to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries.

An earlier version of our headphones was used for CABG in 1994 in Greenville, SC at Greenville Memorial Hospital.  The patient was a 69-year old woman, with no known history of heart disease.  This woman was my mother and she was honestly not that enthusiastic about using music with her surgery.  She really was quite frightened about whether or not she would even wake up from the surgery.  After much reassurance that the music chosen for her would actually improve her chances of waking up.  Even in 1994, the cardiac surgeon had no problem letting her take the headphones into surgery and said anything he could do to improve her chances of a successful surgery and a good recovery.

My mother had 5  by-passes in her heart and was in surgery for hours.  When the surgery finally came to the waiting room and told my father and me that we could come back to recovery, we didn’t know what we might find.  I fully expected her to be still sleeping and not able to talk, but to my surprise, when she saw me, she seemed to perk up.  Then, the spoke weakly, but enthusiastically, “Oh Alice, the music was beautiful!!  I’m so glad that I had that the entire time and I will never have surgery again without this music!”

No one was more surprised than I!  This was over 20 years ago, and she’s 89 years old and doing quite well.  She has had other surgeries since them including a serious hernia operation and hip replacement, but every time she has had the Serenity Headphones and she loves to tell everyone about her experience.

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More FAQs about the Surgical Serenity Solution

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We started selling our Surgical Serenity Solution in April of 2009.  From the moment we began letting the public know about our method for decreasing anxiety before surgery and thereby decreasing the need for as much anesthesia, people immediately “got it” and began ordering the pre-programmed headphones and proprietary music.

Certain questions come up over and over, so I thought I’d do a new post for you, outlining some of the basic questions that people want to know about the headphones.

1.  Are you sure the doctor will let me take these headphones into surgery?

99% of doctors let their patients take our headphones into surgery.  Our downloadable article on “Talking to you doctor about using music in surgery” goes a long way in allaying their fears.  Occasionally a doctor says that he’s worried about an electrical arc between cauterizing tools and the headphones, but anesthesiologists have assured us that it’s much more likely to occur with corded headphones than our cordless headphones.  They’ve now been used in hundreds of different surgeries and it’s never happened!  But you really do need to mention this in advance and not just bring them at the last minute.

2.  What’s the point of having music during my surgery if I’m asleep with general anesthesia?

Medical studies and patient case histories document that the patient “hears” and responds, even if subconsciously, to sound that go on in surgery.  Joint replacement surgery includes hammering, drilling, and sawing.  Those sounds and vibrations enter the patients body and subconscious, so having soothing, calm music entering your brain through the 8th cranial nerve is a huge plus.  In addition, the body rhythms of heart beat and breathing, entrain or synchronize to the pulse of the music, even if you’re under general anesthesia or in a coma.  This phenomenon of rhythmic entrainment is at the heart of the Surgical Serenity Solutions.

3.  Isn’t it better if I pick my own favorite music for my surgery?

If you are a professional musician, a music therapist, or a seasoned amateur, you probably could choose your own music.  But then, do you have access to a lightweight, behind the neck, cordless, programmable headset?  There is only one company that makes these headphones, and as I mentioned above, anything with a cord or wire is more prone to creating an electrical arc.

4.  I’ve heard that the surgeon will be playing his own favorite music.  Won’t that interfere?

That’s the beauty of the patient wearing headphones.  With the patients ears covered, the music is entering their brain through the 8th cranial nerve and greatly muffling the sounds of either surgeons’ music or staff conversations that the patient doesn’t need/want to hear.  Many surgeons still operate on the assumption that patient is “asleep” to their music and conversations, but case studies tell us frquently that patients do hear a disturbing amount.  A surgeon here in Louisville, KY was reported to be playing “Another One Bites the Dust” by QUEEN.  Do YOU want that to be playing during your surgery?

5.  My surgery is going to last for 5-6 hours.  Will the music last that long?

Our proprietary playlist is about 90 minutes long.  It is set to loop over and over on the headphones and the headphones have been know to play 18-20 hours on one battery charge.  So yes, a 5-6 hour surgery would not be a problem at all!

I hope that we’ve answered some of your most concerning questions.  If you have others, you can contact me through this blog and I will get back to you promptly!  Thank you for learning more about the Surgical Serenity Solutions!

best opening video

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Surgical Serenity Solutions: Ideal music delivery

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While reading through some new research this morning, on the benefits of music before, during and after surgery, I came across several patients who commented that although some “pretty music” was playing in the operating room during their procedure, they couldn’t hear it very well.  I wonder why?  Some of the things that could very well be going on in the OR would be:

  • Lots of beeping from lots of different medical device machines
  • Lots of conversation between surgeon, nurses, assistants
  • Sawing, hammering and drilling if it’s a joint replacement
  • The music chosen by the surgeon, which is probably loud and upbeat…not what you want if you’re the patient!

Sooooo, why did we decide to find some fabulous cordless headphones?  So many great reasons:

  • Programmable unit is totally self-contained
  • Our proprietary, scientifically tested, highly-praised music comes loaded on the headphones, but
  • You can add your own favorite music, if you wish!
  • There are no cords dangling around neck to tangle with other equipment
  • The headphones block the distracting conversations and unpleasant sound of surgery

If you’ve just found out that you need surgery, you’re probably scared and anxious.  If you’ve never had surgery, you don’t know what to expect.  If you have had surgery but had a bad experience, or a negative reaction to anesthesia, then you are even more fearful of going through this again.  Do yourself a favor!  Order the Surgical Serenity Solution now, download the free “How to Talk with Your Doctor about Using Music During Surgery,” and start getting proactive.  Thousands of people have had music during their surgical experience and those that used the headphones simply rave about how easy they were and how much they helped!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

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Three Questions you’ll want to ask when considering Surgical Serenity Solutions? Some FAQs

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The concept of using music for the patient during surgery is still a new concept for many people.  But the research is coming in!  Even when you are asleep from anesthesia, your body STILL responds to the slow, steady pulse of the right music!  How do I know this?  Because I am a clinical musicologist who has spent the past 25 years studying this phenomenon and helping surgery patients create their own playlists from their favorite music, and then creating the Surgical Serenity Solution for those that either don’t have time to choose their own preferred music or would rather get something that is ready to go and proven effective!!  Here are some more of the questions I often get:

Q1.  Why should I use music before, during and after surgery if I’ll be asleep anyway?

A1.  When you listen to soothing, steady, instrumental music before surgery (or other anxiety-provoking medical procedure) research documents measurable decreases in anxiety medications; when music continues into surgery, there is not only less anesthesia, but stabilized blood pressure, body temp, heart rate and respiration rate.  The body synchronizes with the slow, steady tempo of the music and has a lower report of pain perception.  After surgery, into the recovery room, the patient awakens with less nausea and vomiting, better oriented to time and place, and requiring less pain medication!  This is big!

Q2.  How can talk to my doctor about wanting to use the Surgical Serenity Solution?

A2.  If you go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com, you will see a link to the blog.  Click on that and in the right-hand margin you will see a link to our complimentary report “How to Talk with your Doctor about using Music in Surgery.”  The brief report includes research studies that have been done, documenting all the positive benefits to patient when the right kind of music is used during surgery.

Q3.  Why can’t I just bring my own iPod with earbuds of headphones?

A3.  You can probably do this, but then the surgical team has to try and avoid the cord that is hanging down to connect iPod with headphones or earbuds.  Our pre-programmed headphones are totally cordless and do not transmit any signal that could interfere with other devices in OR.  Also, our headphones will be brand-new for you and completely sanitized and disinfected.  And while your music may be favorite music and enjoyable, our proprietary classical blend has been specifically chosen to entrain or synchronize with your heart-rate and breathing.

At the request of many potential surgery patients, I will be publishing more of these Q and As so let me know what YOUR questions are!

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Music and Surgery: Research on Benefits Continues to Emerge

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When you hear someone say that music before, during and after surgery is beneficial, you assume that its a certain type of music that has been specifically chosen for surgery, right?  After talking to people and working with patients and physicians and nurses about this for 25 years, I’ve heard it all!

It started out primarily with the surgeon deciding that he would be happier if HE had music playing in the OR, so he chose music that he felt would help him do a better job operating.  I’ve heard of surgeon’s choosing classical, rock and roll, smooth jazz, chant, and lots more.  This music usually is played through iPod speakers on a counter or shelf, or even through a boombox on the floor.

The thought was that the patient was either under general anesthesia and wouldn’t really hear it or they would be under regional anesthesia and would probably also enjoy it!  Pretty “iffy” I’d say, since taste in music varies wildly.  Then I came along in the late 90’s saying that even when patient was under general anesthesia, they could benefit from having their own slow, steady music, because of a process known as rhythmic entrainment.

The way this works is that our bodies respond to a nearby strong, steady beat by synchronizing with it, or entraining with it!  This is a well-documented phenomenon, first noticed in the 1700’s by a Dutch physicist named Daniel Huygens.  One of the things the anesthesiologist and staff do during surgery is to keep the heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure and body temperature at a resting, normal level.  This can be greatly helped along by tapping into rhythmic entrainment, utilizing music with a slow, steady beat and a soothing mood.

This is the music that we have already programmed onto your Surgical Serenity headphones to achieve the Surgical Serenity Solution!  A research study that came out just a couple of years ago reported that listening to music “during all three stages proved beneficial. Overall, patients who listened to music were less anxious, required less sedative medication, recovered more quickly and reported better satisfaction with their medical experience. But while some studies show that listening to classical music could yield the most positive results, the latest findings underscore the importance of taking into account patients’ musical tastes.” –

To that, I would add that when the patient is going under general anesthesia, probably classical music is best overall.  Our study here at the VA Hospital utilized exclusively classical music, and although most of the men were not classical music afficianados, once they had been explained why this specific music was chosen, they were happy to give it a chance…and experienced all the benefits listed above!!

The comment below was from a blog that was citing this study above, done at the University of Kentucky by music therapists.  However, it is not necessary to have a music therapist present to use our pre-programmed surgical headphones!  That’s one of the money-saving benefits to hospital and patient.

I will write lots more about this in future blog posts but do let me know your thoughts and your questions!  Thank you!

See more at: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2012/11/20/how-music-therapy-may-benefit-surgery-patients/#comments

June Pegram Says:

I had a full hysterectomy in 2005 at Stanford and my physician provided me with a cd to listen to in preparation for the surgery. The premise was to listen to the cd an follow the exercises provided along with the music. Having the music, prepared me in ways that I never would have dreamed- it actually changed my life, even to this day. There was no pre-op nervousness and before I knew it, I was in my recovery room still listening to the music. What a peaceful and relaxing way to enter something normally so stressful. My recovery was just as wonderful and I listened to the cd every night during recovery. Years later I find myself humming a few bars of the relaxation song to calm me down when I am tense. The cd has since been lost to me during several moves, but I truly wish I still had it. Music is very beneficial to the psyche and physical attributes towards preparation and healing and I will use it from now on…

– See more at: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2012/11/20/how-music-therapy-may-benefit-surgery-patients/#comments

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Will MY hospital have these Surgical Serenity headphones for me?

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prepare.surgeryIf you are going to one of the cutting edge hospitals in the U.S. (and we’re not allowed to name the hospitals who have them waiting for you at this point) you might very well find the headphones there.  Four of the largest hospital systems in the world either have the headphones or are seriously considering them for their patients.  All you need to do is ask your surgeon if the hospital where your procedure is being done, utilizes the Surgical Serenity Solutions.  He should know immediately whether they do or don’t.

One of the main reasons I had the idea to create pre-programmed, cordless headphones for the patient was for the patients convenience.  I know that when I had surgery 20 years ago, I did not have a lot of advance notice.  I was literally up all night the night before my back surgery, creating three cassette tapes for before, during and after my surgery.  Because I was a clinical musicologist even then, I knew the benefits of steady, soothing, instrumental music in the surgical process.  My surgeon was fascinated by all of this, and even though I used a Walkman, connected to headphones with a wire, the surgeon and anesthesiologist allow this in the OR.

In 2005, when the idea to create programmed, cordless headphones was born, one of my main reasons was so that patients who were likely already in pain and quite fearful of going under general anesthesia, could have easy access to music for their surgery that had been tested and approved by hundreds of people.  Now we have this!

The headphones are getting national attention now and I do believe that one day they will be standard equipment in all hospitals.  If your hospital does not have them waiting for you, please order yours now!!  You will be so glad that you did!

To order:  www.SurgicalHeadphones.com

 

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Surgery with Music: FAQ’s

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Are you having surgery?  Are you scared of the pain, the anesthesia, the time off work, the side-effects of all the medications you’ll be given?  These are all common, and VALID concerns.  Surgery is serious business, but there are times that it really must be done to improve quality of life, to prolong life, or to enhance life.

Over the past 5 or 6 decades, surgery has become a much safer endeavor as hospital OR conditions have improved and methods of sterilization and decontamination have stepped into the 21st century.  Many companies have created tools to make the patient more comfortable during the entire procedure, from warming the sheets and giving the patient fuzzy foot-cover, to lightweight headphones that deliver specially-chosen music for surgery, wirelessly and cordlessly!

Here are some of the most frequently-asked questions that I get about the benefits of music during surgery:

  1. What are the benefits of music during surgery:

Patients using music (through cordless headphones) pre-surgery, during and after surgery, report less fear and anxiety medication before procedure, less anesthesia during surgery, and less pain medication after surgery.  They also report fewer side-effects from the anesthesia, such as nausea and vomiting, and a faster return to home, work and life in general!  In addition, when patient receives the music through headphones, the surgeon can have his own more upbeat music, and the patient isn’t affected by that.  Also, conversations that the doctors and nurses have, that patient doesn’t want to hear, will be obscured.  Finally, with Baby boomers having more and more joint replacement surgeries, patients don’t have to hear the drilling, sawing and hammering that goes on.

2.  What are the drawbacks of music during surgery:  absolutely none!

3.   Do the headphones block all sounds in the OR?:  No, the surgical headphones are intended to greatly decrease the OR noises, but during regional anesthesia and surgery, the patient can still hear questions that the doctor might need to ask.

4.   Will my doctors approve of this?  Most doctors do approve of the use of headphones during surgery.  The surgeon and the anesthesiologist both need to give their approval.  It is important to print out our free article entitled “How to Talk with Your Doctor about Using Music During Surgery.”

5.   How did you choose the music on the headphones?:  I have been helping patients choose their perfect music for surgery for almost 25 years.  I had been reading about the benefits of music in reducing medication and calming the patient, but through my own personal research and experience, I discovered that slow, steady, soothing instrumental music, that has the tempo of the healthy, resting heartbeat is ideal.  This is what get the entrainment process going, and even when the patient is under general anesthesia, the body’s heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure all tend to stabilize and synchronize with the slow, steady pulse of the music.

6.    Can I continue to use them after surgery?:  Yes.  The headphones include a USB cable and charger so that after your surgery or other medical procedure, you can connect the headphones to your laptop and load hundreds more pieces or songs of your choice.  With care, your headphones should last for many years!

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Knee Replacement Surgery with Music

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The aging baby-boomer population is filling up the hospitals nowadays.  Our joints, especially are simply wearing out and luckily, they can now be replaced!  Imagine what it was like when joints wore out and people just had to live with it.   Results of worn-out joints included becoming sedentary, depressed and eventually dying of pneumonia.  Of course this didn’t happen to everyone, but many people, for centuries, did have this happen.

We do live in a miraculous time!  With antibiotics, artificial knees and hips, and machines that can exercise our knees and our lungs for us, what more do we need?  I think that a great addition to this picture is music.

Ample research exists that document music’s beneficial effects before, during and after surgery.  When the music is delivered through cordless, pre-programmed headphones, it’s even better!  Recently I met with a lady who desperately needed knee replacement but was so fearful and anxious that she almost didn’t have the surgery.  She had heard about the Surgical Serenity Solution and because she lives here in Louisville, KY, I was able to hand-deliver them and talk with her about how different this would be from previous surgeries.

Listen as she describes what her experience was like:

 

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