What IS the Surgical Serenity Solution?

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You’ve probably just found out that you, or a loved one, needs to have have surgery.  No one WANTS to have surgery, but sometimes you just can’t get better without it.  You may have heard that using music during surgery can improve the outcomes; make the overall results better.  This is where the Surgical Serenity Solution comes in.  The Surgical Serenity Solution is a method for having the ideal slow, steady, soothing, purely instrumental music playing for the patient through cordless, lightweight headphones.  They were conceived of by a clinical musicologist, with years of experience helping surgical patients choose their ideal music.

Eight years later, hundreds of people have used our method and headphones for surgeries of all kinds, and with outstanding results.  Dozens of studies are out there, documenting music’s power to reduce, anxiety, amount of anesthesia needed, and pain perception afterwards.  Not only that, but when you have less anesthesia and less pain medication but also have less nausea and vomiting and you go home a lot sooner.

The Surgical Serenity Solution is gradually spreading around the country and the globe.  Get this solution for yourself!  You’ll be so glad you did.  Check out the patient testimonials here:  http://www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/testimonials/.

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Music with Surgery Case History #5: 69 y.o. female with eye surgery

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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 to www.SurgicalHeadphones.com.

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Surgery with Music: Case History #2, 62 year-old man with Pacemaker implantation

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Patient was a 62 y.o.male who had a history of two previous heart attacks, was diabetic and suffering from tremors and generalized weakness.  Patient came to me as a result of reading online about the benefits of music with surgery and because he had been told that anesthesia would be more of a danger for him that the average 62 y.o. man.  Patient’s health was moderately to severly compromised and he also had major anxiety about being in the hospital anyway because of previous associations with being ill. 

Patient reported that he considered creating his own playlist for surgery that would included favorite country music, but after listening to samples of the Serenity Music, he realized that the slow, steady, instrumental classical music enabled him to relax more and drift off to a state of calm and relaxation.   When procedure was over, patient’s recovery nurse said he required less pain medication than average person having this procedure and that he woke up more alert than most!  Patient reported he was very pleased overall and that he would definitely use the headphones again with any future medical procedures. This man was so encouraged, he created this video testimonial for us:

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Surgery with Music: Case History #1, 70-y.o.female with by-pass surgery

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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-existant 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!

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An interesting surgery experience

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Recently, a friend of mine’s son had to have brain surgery. Thankfully, the tumor was benign and he is recovering fabulously well, but over coffee the other day, the father related an interesting and humorous experience his son had while coming out of the anesthesia. Apparently he was thinking of the new TV Show “Deal or No Deal.” In his “dream state” he was playing the game and was asked “deal or no deal.” He said “deal” and when the pretty girl opened the case, in it was a NEW BRAIN!
What does this have to do with music? Nothing, but I thought my readers would enjoy the story! Actually I will say this: if my friend had been wearing headphone (or earbuds in this case since it was brain surgery) he might or might not have had this dream. I believe that music affects the thoughts and probably dreams of people who are listening. In this case, the dream was funny and amusing. I believe that the chances for a positive surgical experience are greatly increased when listening to music through headphones or earbuds.
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Music for Surgery: Profile of Hysterectomy Patient

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This past week, a dear friend of mine experienced a surgery that she was not looking forward to. (But then, who does look forward to surgery?) She had known for some time that she needed to have some large fibroid tumors removed, but did not think she would need a complete hysterectomy until a month before she had it. We talked many times about how she would use music before, during and after the surgery, but she had no idea how glad she would be that she had it ready to go when she arrived at the hospital that morning.

My friend had carefully chosen Handel’s “Watermusic Suite” to have playing through headphones during the surgery, but almost as soon as she arrived, things began to go awry. During the wait to be called back for getting into a gown and getting the IV started, she began listening to her chosen music. When she was finally called in, thee staff wouldn’t allow any family members to go with her although all she was doing was changing clothes and she was clearly scared beyond what she expected. They finally did let her sister and me go back but then informed her that they couldn’t find any of her pre-surgery blood work and would have to do it all again! She turned up her music and stuck out her arm for a repeat of the procedure she dreads so much. Shortly after that, a nurse came in telling her that they had found the blood work from three days before. My friend almost started crying but instead looked at us and pressed repeat on the CD Walkman.Then the anesthesiologist arrived. She was a woman in her forties at most, and was “all business.” There was no smile, no “how are you doing?” nothing. She even began to berate my friend when informed that someone had donated blood for her, saying that she was sure they wouldn’t use it unless it had been typed for an exact match. My friend said “but O+ is the universal donor for other + types and the doctor glared and said “I know that!!!”

It was like a scene from a bad soap opera but my friend remained steadfast now with her trusty CD player mostly obliterating the conversation that her sister and I were having with this physician.Finally, the surgeon entered the room and she was as kind as could be. Soon, my friend was wheeled away and the OR staff assured us they would change the CD to the recovery music once the surgery was finished. This, they did. We never expected these kinks in the process, but my friend has said that the music made such a difference in being able to tolerate these difficulties and that in the recovery room, she was able to recognize the music she had chosen. The familiarity provided comfort and reassurance to her that words could not have provided. Studies continue to come out that document this anecdotal report.

Please remember this when you or a friend needs surgery. It is so easy and so worthwhile. My “Music for Surgery “ audio tapes are intended to help prepare you mentally, emotionally and spiritually for surgery. They work well for the preop, operative and postop periods of your surgical experience. I also offer links to amazing music for purchase through Amazon online that can also help significantly. You won’t believe the results!

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