Headphones for the patient?


Headphones for the patient undergoing surgery is a must!  Why has it taken so long for the medical/surgical community to realize this?  Surgeons have been using music for themselves, assuming that if the patient enjoys it, that would be nice, but not medically significant.  Has there been a misunderstanding?  No, I think it’s a matter of educating the patients, the doctors, and the hospital administrators.  Surgeons have been choosing their preferred music in the OR for many decades now.  Patients and administrators have assumed that the music would also be effective for them, especially since they would be asleep for most of that time.

But is that really the case?  NO.  When music is being played ambiently in the OR, through speakers on a nearby table or counter, speakers in the wall or ceiling, the patients may vaguely hear that music, but they also hear the conversations, the sounds of surgery (which might include drilling, sawing, and hammering!) and the beeping of various monitors in the OR!  This is not soothing for the patient.

After over a decade of research, and patient/staff accounts, we know for sure, that when the patient puts on cordless, lightweight headphones that are pre-programmed with soothing, slow and rhythmic music, they do better.  Why?  Because the music that has been chosen is the ideal music to engage rhythmic entrainment and place the patient in a “sonic cocoon.”  This keeps that patients heartrate and breathing synchronized to the music, and outside conversation and noises do not penetrate the patient’s consciousness.

We are excited about our new headphone model that is priced so that the hospital can GIVE each surgical patient a headphone to take home with them.  Our initial efforts are focusing on hospitals that have multiple facilities around the country, but if you would like us to talk with administrators at your hospital, just let us know, and we’d be happy to set up an initial call!!


Will Surgical Serenity be covered by insurance?


Will the Surgical Serenity headphones be covered by insurance?

C-section Serenity Headphones

Waiting to go into surgery.

This is a fair question, and one that I get asked fairly often.  The Surgical Serenity Solution has the capability to reduce anxiety before surgery, anesthesia requirements during surgery, and pain medication after surgery.  The Surgical Serenity Solution can decrease nausea and vomiting in the PACU so that patient is able to be discharged to hospital room or home sooner and begin their overall recovery.  This ingenious and revolutionary tool has the ability to create a win-win for both patient and hospitals by contributing to patient health, but also increase patient satisfaction scores for hospital and allowing them to have faster turnover and treat more patients in the same time period.

So when will health insurance start paying for this?  The insurance industry is a conservative industry and I believe that they will require more studies on this, even though we have at least a couple of hundred in the last two decades.  I believe that BC/BS of California already covers some tapes/CDs that have affirmations for healing on them and actually issues them to patients with various health challenges from chemo to surgery to depression.  I see no reason that they won’t eventually cover the Surgical Serenity Solution, too.

In the meantime, we are working tirelessly to find a headphones that is so affordable for hospitals, that they can actually GIVE them to patients when they arrive at the hospital the morning of the surgery and use them throughout the process and them take them home to keep during their recovery and afterwards!

Are YOU having surgery soon?  Do YOU want to use the absolute best music during your procedure and afterwards?  Just go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com now and get some for yourself.  They hold 4G of music, so you can add whatever music you want afterwards and use them for years to come.  You’ll be so glad that you did!



Having a cystoscopy? Music can help you!


CystoscopySSSThere are many medical procedures that are just really uncomfortable.  A cystoscopy is one of those.

Cystoscopy may be done to:

  • Find the cause of many urinary system problems. Examples include blood in the urine, pain when you urinate, incontinence, frequent urinary tract infections, and blockages in the urinary tract.
  • Remove tissue samples for testing (biopsy).
  • Remove a foreign object.
  • Insert a stent. This helps urine flow from the kidneys to the bladder.
  • Treat certain problems. The test can be used to remove stones or growths, help stop bleeding in the bladder, or remove a blockage.
  • Inject a dye that is used for a special type of X-ray of the ureter and kidney.

Anything that potentially causes pain and discomfort is also going to cause a lot of anxiety.  Anxiety in turn, causes muscles to tense up, instead of relaxing, which would make the procedure more difficult and potentially more painful.  So, what’s a patient to do?  MUSIC!  Music is a known therapeutic and calming agent.

One of our happiest, most-satisfied customers used the Surgical Serenity Solution with her cystoscopy and reported “I was really not looking forward to this procedure.  But I had been having some serious symptoms and cancer runs in the family, so I knew I needed to go ahead and have the cystoscopy.  I ordered the surgical headphones and as soon as I put them and started listening to this beautiful music, I knew that I would get through it.  I highly recommend this concept.  They just take you to another whole world and make the procedure seem less scary and painful!”



Surgical Serenity with Hand Surgery


Louisville, KY, has one of he most famous hand surgery practices in the world.  Kleinert and Kutz have introduced procedures that had never been done before.  Sadly, Kentucky has many farming accidents that involve patients losing hands, fingers, and arms.  The brilliant surgeons at Kleinert and Kutz have pioneered procedures that involve re-attaching these limbs and digits in a way that is usually permanent.  One their surgeons pioneered the first hand transplant over 10 years ago.

Using music with a surgical procedure like this can be extremely helpful.  Can you imagine the panic and pain that someone who has just lost an arm, hand or fingers would feel?  Being able to place the Serenity Headphones on a patient as soon as they enter the waiting area, immediately begins to calm the patient as other medications take effect.  With risk of great blood loss, the headphones actually synchronize the heart rate and pulse with the slow, steady tempo of the music and allow doctors to stabilize the patient faster.

One of our customers had to undergo hand surgery with Dr. Kutz, and here is her report to us:

“I have had many surgeries, and this hand surgery with Dr. Cash’s wonderful Surgical Serenity Solution was the easiest by far.  I went to sleep listening to the beautiful piano music, there was a lull and then I woke up hearing that same beautiful music playing.  It was very orienting to me and I remembered immediately exactly where I was and why I was there.  I hope the medical community will realize what a wonderful device you have created and will order them by the thousands!”

Sheryl Soderberg, Louisville, KY


Baby Boomers and Knee Replacement Surgery: Important Information


The Baby Boomer generation is having joint replacement surgery at an unbelievable rate.  It is definitely one of the most frequent surgeries that we Baby Boomers have.  Although I have not personally had one, I have helped many people get through them with the help of the Surgical Serenity Solution.

There are many Boomers who have never had any kind of surgery and when they find that they are going to have to have surgery, they are literally scared to death.  Many of them choose not to have the surgery because of this fear and terror.  Because they can’t move around easily, they often gain more and more weight, have more and more pain, and eventually become house-bound, depressed and isolated!

But listen to this lady tell her story.  She had undergone many surgeries and was getting increasingly fearful and anxious of the pain that she knew would follow.  She found out that she really did need a knee replacement and had tied herself up in knots trying to decide whether or not to go through with it. A dear friend heard about the Surgical Serenity Solution, and decided to get the preprogrammed, cordless headphones for her friend!

Here is what she told me, about two weeks after the surgery:


Another first-person account of music during surgery!


Jane Zellmer was anxious about her second knee replacement surgery.

The first surgery on her left knee was done under general anesthesia. She said she doesn’t do well under general anesthesia, and she had a difficult time waking up and was nauseous the first time.

This time the 54-year-old Ettrick, Wis., woman wanted spinal anesthesia, which would allow her to be conscious while numbing her right knee.

Zellmer also chose music to help with her anxiety and make her relax. Mike Jacobson, a nurse anesthetist at Franciscan Skemp, had a library of music from which she could pick. She chose her favorite music, country, and a favorite artist, George Strait.

With her headphones on, she listened to Strait’s music during surgery.

“It was very calming listening to the music, and I was comfortable,” Zellmer said. “I was nervous about the spinal anesthesia, but the music helped me relax.

“I felt like I was lying in the sun with headphones on,” she said. “Music did its thing, and it was a place to go, something to escape into. The spinal anesthesia and music worked real well together.”

For several years, a number of hospitals, including Franciscan Skemp and Gundersen Lutheran, have offered music to patients during surgery. Zellmer heard about the use of music through a friend who listened to music during surgery at Gundersen Lutheran.

More and more hospitals are using music for patients because research is showing it helps reduce moderate pain and anxiety, and it might result in less sedation and faster recovery.

A Yale University showed patients listening to music required much less sedation during surgery. Another study showed listening to music helps minimize the rise in blood pressure associated with surgery. Researchers say the best results are likely to come from people being able to listen to the music of their own choice rather than being given music thought to be soothing.

For many years, surgery rooms have been filled with the sound of music selected by and for surgeons.

“Music often helps surgeons relax, and some like it for background music,” Jacobson said. “One surgeon likes very loud rock ’n’ roll.

“Patients have their own music option, but it’s the surgeon’s choice in the room,” he said. “I’ve never been asked what I want to hear, but I think whatever music helps the surgeon is a good choice.”

Dr. Mark Connelly, a Gundersen Lutheran facial plastic surgeon, has played music in his operating room for more than 25 years. He has a CD of Broadway show tunes, pop, country and classical music.

“The music is soothing, and it helps me relax,” Connelly said.

“Occasionally, the staff will sing along to ‘Stand By Your Man,’” he said. “Surgeons get to choose the music, but it’s nice when the operating group likes it.”

Jacobson is one of the DJs at Franciscan Skemp. He is in charge of a cart of CDs from which patients can choose, or they can bring in their own CDs.

“Some people like country, some like classical and some New Age, but more patients like soothing music,” Jacobson said. “Music does help calm the patient.”

Dr. Marisa Baorto, a Franciscan Skemp anesthesiologist, said music is used in conjunction with “conscious sedation,” such as spinal and regional anesthesia, for surgeries such as foot, carpal tunnel, knee replacement and breast biopsies.

Baorto said some pregnant women bring in their own music to listen to during labor.

“A lot of patients enjoy the music, and then they don’t have to hear what’s going on in surgery,” Baorto said. “Music helps them phase out and get less sedation.”

Jacobson said he can tell the difference in patients who enjoy the music.

“We can tell the patient is more calm,” Jacobson said. “I don’t think it is fluff. There are benefits to the patient, even some benefits during general anesthesia.”


Music before Day Surgery–are there benefits?


This interesting research comes from England. Apparently many patients feel they’ve been abandoned as they wait for their surgery. If they were given their wireless, pre-programmed headphones prior to surgery, this would undoubtedly calm some of their pre-surgery jitters!

Gilmartin J, Wright K.
School of Healthcare Studies, Baines Wing, University of Leeds, Leeds UK. j.gilmartin@leeds.ac.uk

BACKGROUND: The rapid expansion in day surgery has facilitated a shift in surgical nursing intervention. The evolving evidence base has a major part to play in influencing nurse-led preassessment, information provision, pain management and postoperative intervention. However, the literature is characterised by a number of deficits: poor attention to patient experience from admission to discharge, anxieties evoked and the potential needs of patients are not well articulated. AIM: The purpose of this paper is to describe and interpret patients’ experiences of contemporary day surgery. METHOD: This hermeneutic phenomenological approach focused on the experience of 20 adult patients. Data was collected by using unstructured interviews. The transcripts were interpreted through the identification of four prevalent themes using the phenomenological method. FINDINGS: The themes that emerged from the data are emphasised, ranging from the feeling of empowerment during preparation, through apprehensions encountered and the feeling of abandonment in the preoperative waiting area, to recovery dynamics. CONCLUSION: The study demonstrates that the majority of the patients felt abandoned in the preoperative stage and nurses did not recognise the importance of ongoing psychological support. Therefore, it is crucial to strengthen the provision of emotional support and person-centred care in a day surgery context. There is also a need to be aware that environmental factors can impact on patient anxiety, promoting the use of music preoperatively can reduce anxiety and increase well-being. RELEVANCE FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE: Crucially health professionals need to facilitate person-centred and continuity of care throughout the day surgery experience. Using dynamic interpersonal skills, such as active listening ‘holding”containment’ and attunement to reduce anxiety and feelings of abandonment in the preoperative period. Moreover, being alert to verbal utterances, para-language and non-verbal cues demonstrated by the patient. Specific information about delays regarding the timing of procedures needs to be carefully explained.

PMID: 18705721

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


Surgery with Music, Pt. 2


I’ve been researching the use of music with surgery for about 15 years now. Not surprisingly, my mother is one of my biggest fans and now knows to always use music with surgery. Recently, she had her fourth surgery with music. As always, we talked to the anesthesiologist and the surgeon in advance to make sure they would allow this and without hesitation they said yes.

In case you need a refresher course, the reason we use
surgery is because the music synchronizes the heart-beat
and breathing and people use up to 50% LESS anesthesia!
This is HUGE because anesthesia is one of the things
you must recover from after surgery. This has been documented
in literally 100’s of studies from around the world with all kinds
of surgeries. When patients listen to music through headphones,
the music enters the brain through the 8th cranial nerve and not
only relaxes the patient but also blocks out the conversations
that the surgeon is having with assistants that could include
comments that the patient really doesn’t want to hear! People
have reported to me hearing nurses talking about what they
wanted for lunch, their boyfriends, etc. While I think this is
probably rare, it’s better not to hear anything but familiar, soothing
instrumental music.

Yesterday there was a front-page article in the NY Times about
music in the OR. While this article focused more on music for
the surgeon and staff, it is still very interesting and can be found at


For more information on music with surgery, visit my website at
www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com. You can order my two-tape
set there or sign up online for an individual consultation before
your surgery or just to talk about how music can improve, invigorate
and energize YOUR life! Until next time, keep the music playing!

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