Surgeons believe playing a little knife music might benefit patients so much that they recover sooner from their operations.
Mozart was not actually one of the composers that those in the study got to hear. However, they were offered equally soothing pieces by Beethoven, Vivaldi and Bach.
Frank Sinatra was also on hand for those who preferred some easy listening during the operations, which included washing out major wounds.
Hazim Sadideen, the plastic surgeon who led the project at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said: “Undergoing surgery can be a stressful experience for patients and finding ways of making them more comfortable should be our goal as clinicians.
“There are also good medical reasons – calmer patients may cope better with pain and recover quicker.
“This small scale work is the first time an attempt has been made to measure the impact music has in this specific group of patients and hints at the need for bigger multi-centre research to establish whether this should become part of standard practice.”
In the study, published in the journal Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons, 96 patients undergoing minor surgery were randomly assigned either music or silence. All were awake during their procedures, which included routine removal of skin lesions and cleansing of upper limb wounds after accidents.
The half played music reported lower anxiety levels and lower breathing rates than the others.
The medics did not evaluate whether Beethoven was better for patients than Bach.