Surgery with Music Series Post #30: A Recap of why music is so important for your surgery


If you’ve been reading this 30-day series of posts of music with surgery, and you’re still not convinced of music’s power during surgery, I just don’t know what to tell you.  People all over the world, both patients and medical staff including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and techs of all kinds are recommending the use of music before, during and after surgery.  There are absolutely no drawbacks or side-effects and so many benefits that the choice is clear.

If you have the ability to make your own playlist, that’s great!  If you have enough lead time to do it, I think it’s a great idea.  I did it for myself back in 1994 when I had a lumbar laminectomy.  The doctors were astounded at how well everything went and how quickly I recovered.  I did it for my mother’s heart bypass in the early 90’s and after quite a bit of skepticism initially, she had such a positive experience that she said she would never again have surgery without music and headphones.

I have been helping patients to use music during their surgery since late 1990 when I began reading about the work of well-known music therapist, Helen Bonny.  I would usually mention her work when I went out speaking at hospitals and universities and associations.  Invariably, someone would say “Dr. Cash, I don’t believe that many people at all know about this music and surgery idea.  I think you should really try to get the word out!

After that, the rest is history.  I have worked with thousands of patients around the world and in 2008 I got a patent on my Surgical Serenity Headphones.  Although you can purchase them online at, my main goal is to get them into hospitals around the world so that they are ready to go when a patient arrives for surgery.  They would be told about the process of wearing the headphones upon arrival at the hospital and would be issued a set of headphones that would then be theirs to keep, eliminating the risk of infection from previous users.

If you are associated with a full-service hospital, please check out the headphones and the documented benefits.  Using the headphones can greatly reduce the amount of drugs and anesthesia required and create a calmer more peaceful atmosphere for the patient.   As a result of less anesthesia, the patient will recover faster and get back to work sooner and with less trauma.  Every doctor or nurse that I have ever talked to about these has said it is a great idea and that they will be standard equipment in all operating rooms one day!  Please join me in making this dream come true.