Surgical Headphones FAQ


The headphones have been on the market for almost a year now and I’m selling them (and the download) primarily to individuals.  Once the data is gathered and the proof of their efficacy is undeniable, I will begin marketing them to hospitals and surgical centers, in earnest. 

What I’ve noticed so far is that certain questions come up over and over.  I thought I would share them, and my response, with you now.

FAQ’s for Surgical Headphones
1.  Q.  Why do I need to get your surgical headphones?  Why can’t I just use my iPod?
     A.  Of course you can use your iPod (if your surgeon agrees).  The main reason to use my headphones is that there are no wires or cords to get in the way of medical devices being used and more importantly…the music has been especially chosen and sequenced by a clinical musicologist who has been studying what the best music for surgery is for 20 years!
2.   Q How do the headphones fit on my head?

      A The headphones fit behind the neck and hook over the ears. Both earpieces are padded and the headset is very comfortable.

3.  Q  Can the headphones also be used at home?

     A.  Absolutely! The headphones can be used anywhere, including outdoors, during exercise of any kind, or in bed.

4.   Q.  Can I change the music on the headphones later if I want to put some of my favorite music on them?

      A.  Yes you can.  You can completely remove the surgery music or you can leave it there and add 6-8 more hours of your own favorite music for relaxation, energizing, exercising or whatever you wish.

5.  Q.  Will the headphones be sterilized before surgery?
     A.  Your headphones will be brand-new when you receive them and won’t need to be sterilized.  You will probably try them out several times before your procedure to be sure you now how to turn them off and on as well as recharge them.  You might want to wipe them down with a disinfectant before you arrive at the hospital, but nothing else is necessary!

6.  Q.  How soon should I order them before my procedure?
    A.  It’s a good idea to order them as soon as you know you’re having surgery so that you can get familiar with them and even listen to the music numerous times.  However, they are very easy to operate and all you really need to know is how to turn them on.

7.  Q.  How long will the music play?
     A.  The music will play for 7-8 hours without needing to be recharged!  The surgery track is about an hour long and will repeat continuously until they are turned off!

I’m sure there are many more questions you might have, and feel free to contact me through the comment option on this blog or from my website


More research on benefits of live music during surgery


Classical music played on a piano in the operating room for 115 patients having eye surgery at the former St. Francis Medical Center-Liliha had “profound” physical benefits, it was reported today.

The music lowered the patients’ blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates before any sedation or pain medication, according to a paper in the Medscape Journal of Medicine, a Web resource for physicians of peer-reviewed medical journal articles.

Dr. Jorge Camara, a classically trained pianist and ophthalmologist, played music for patients before surgery as part of a study from May to August 2005 to demonstrate the medical benefits of music.

The classical and semi-classical pieces ranged from Debussy’s “Arabesque No. 1 in E Major” and Chopin’s “Etude in E Major, Op. 10 No. 3,” to “The More I See You,” by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon.

The patients, 49 to 79 years old, were having surgery for the first time. The study reports average decreases of 21 percent in their blood pressure, 8 percent in heart rate and 21 percent in breathing rate.

“This sentinel paper validates the growing evidence that listening to relaxing music has profound beneficial effects on the physiologic functions of the human body,” said Camara, director of ophthalmology in the Department of Surgery, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine.

He believes it’s the first study in which a surgeon performed on a piano in an operating room for patients before surgery.

When Camara began the project, Samuel Wong, former Honolulu Symphony music director, and Arthur Harvey, former University of Hawaii music professor and researcher, joined him in playing the piano for patients.

A total of 203 patients underwent ophthalmologic procedures when the piano was in the operating room, but 88 had no music played. The result was “a statistically significant increase of their mean arterial blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate,” the study found.

Co-authors of the paper, “The Effects of Live Classical Piano Music on the Vital Signs of Patients Undergoing Ophthalmic Surgery,” are Joseph Ruszkowski, Kamehameha Schools music teacher, and Dr. Sandra R. Worak, a research fellow trained by Camara now working in the Philippines.

No complications were associated with the music, and patients “were very happy their doctor was playing the piano for them,” Camara said in an interview.

He said Kahala painter Laurie McKeon, 57, one of the patients who heard live music, wrote about the experience, explaining how scared she was to have surgery and how the piano music made a huge difference.

She wrote: “The music soared above me, swirled around me. It penetrated through my pores, beyond my ears, past my mind and somehow, into my heart. I felt at peace. I felt safe. I felt like everything was going to be just fine. And it was.”

Camara no longer has live piano music in his operating room but patients hear a recording of him playing the piano. He is past president of the Aloha Medical Mission and has given three piano concerts to benefit the organization at the Neil Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Citing growing interest in the medical benefits of music, he said, “So much more has to be studied,” such as the effect on male versus female patients and rap music versus relaxing classical music. “This is only the beginning of a journey that will open our eyes to the wonderful potential of music for healing,” he said.

By Helen Altonn

The paper can be seen on


Medical Study in Sweden documents music’s power before surgery


Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2009 Jul;53(6):759-64. Epub 2009 Apr 14.

Relaxing music as pre-medication before surgery: a randomised controlled trial. Bringman H, Giesecke K, Thörne A, Bringman S. Department of Surgery, Södertälje Hospital, SE-152 86 Södertälje, Sweden.
 INTRODUCTION: Patients who await surgery often suffer from fear and anxiety, which can be prevented by anxiolytic drugs. Relaxing music may be an alternative treatment with fewer adverse effects. This randomised clinical trial compared pre-operative midazolam with relaxing music.

METHOD: Three hundred and seventy-two patients scheduled for elective surgery were randomised to receive pre-operative prevention of anxiety by 0.05-0.1 mg/kg of midazolam orally or by relaxing music. The main outcome measure was the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI X-1), which was completed by the patients just before and after the intervention.

RESULTS: Of the 177 patients who completed the music protocol, the mean and (standard deviation) STAI-state anxiety scores were 34 (8) before and 30 (7) after the intervention. The corresponding scores for the 150 patients in the midazolam group were 36 (8) before and 34 (7) after the intervention. The decline in the STAI-state anxiety score was significantly greater in the music group compared with the midazolam group (P<0.001, 95% confidence interval range -3.8 to -1.8).

CONCLUSION: Relaxing music decreases the level of anxiety in a pre-operative setting to a greater extent than orally administrated midazolam. Higher effectiveness and absence of apparent adverse effects makes pre-operative relaxing music a useful alternative to midazolam for pre-medication.


Headphones for Labor and Delivery?


Recently, several people have asked me about the possibility of have some of my pre-programmed surgical headphones programmed for labor and deliver. I think it’s a great idea because it could keep the labor progressing. The phenomenon of musical entrainment is powerful and the body responds to the tempo and mood of any piece of music!

I’ve always that Ravel’s “Bolero” would be a good piece for labor and delivery. What do you think?


Dental Surgery Takes a Look at Surgical Serenity Headphones!

Tomorrow I’m traveling to Versailles, KY to speak to a group of 25-30 dentists about our Surgical Serenity Headphones and their value in dentistry! Ever since the headphones went on the market last March ( people have been saying “Oh, those would be great in a dentist’s office!”


Yes, the dentist chair is one of the most un-favorite places to find oneself. In dentistry, the headphones would serve multiple purposes. In addition to the relaxation effect that invariably is elicited, there’s also the fact that having on headphones will block and muffle the sound of the drill, one of the most unpleasant parts of the dental procedure.
As with so many procedures, just knowing that you have multiple choices for pain management is a huge plus, and with music, there’s no novocaine numbness to wear off and no gases or narcotics to put into your bloodstream!
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