According to a new study, listening to music when you go under the surgical knife can significantly reduce your need for sedation. Anesthesiologists at the Yale School of Medicine ran a study that included 90 patients undergoing “urological procedures with spinal anesthesia and patient-controlled IV propofol sadation.” From a press release about the paper, published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia:

The subjects wore headphones and were randomly assigned to hear music they liked, white noise or to wear no headphones and be exposed to operating room noise. Dropping a surgical instrument into a bowl in the operating room can produce noise levels of up to 80 decibels, which is considered very loud to uncomfortably loud.

What they found is that blocking the sounds of the operating room with white noise did not decrease sedative requirements of listening to operating room sounds. Playing music did reduce the need for sedatives during surgery.

Dr. Alice Cash has created wireless/cordless headphones for surgery that are pre-programmed by a clinical musicologist (herself) with the most ideal music for surgery. This happens to be classical music and since the patient is asleep (under general anesthesia) it is more important to have the right tempo of music and the right mood music, than to let the patient choose what they’d like to hear…if they could hear it! To read more about these headphones, click here.

Dr. Cash also has a download of this ideal music availalbe here. You can download the music onto your own iPod or MP3 device and take it into surgery with you.

The wireless headphones are already in use at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota as well as the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. If you, or someone you love, is having surgery in the near future, please check out these options. It could just save your life!