Day 3 of Surgical Serenity Solutions Blog Series: Benefits of headphones during surgery

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Thanks for staying with me on our 30-day blog series and welcome to Day 3.  Yesterday we talked about the benefits of music for calming anxiety and decreasing pain perception.  Today I want to talk about the huge benefit of delivering this music through headphones.  You might be surprised to know that every day, there are a few unfortunate people who wake up from general anesthesia, reporting that they heard conversations of the medical staff during their procedure.  Admittedly, it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it can be quite upsetting.

We all want to think that the staff is focusing 100% on us and our procedure, but patients awaken saying that they heard not only conversations about what the staff had for breakfast or lunch, but sometimes conversations about “last night’s date!”  Even worse, I think, are the conversations about the patient himself that are not always positive.  Or conversations about surgical outcomes that are not going to be positive.

This is one of the main reasons that allowing the patient to have his own music coming through headphones is so important.  Not only do the headphones allow the music to go straight to the brain, through the eighth cranial nerve, but the headphones also block conversations in the operating room that the patient does NOT want or need to hear.

Listen to this patient, still in the hospital after his surgery, tell how his headphones during surgery experienced went!

Finally, more and more surgeons choose the music that THEY want to hear during surgery.  More often than not, this music is upbeat and not at all the soothing, slow, steady music that the patient needs.  When the patient is having their ideal music delivered through headphones, the surgeon can listen to whatever he wants and then everybody is happy.

Surgical Serenity has created cordless headphones that are pre-programmed with the ideal music, OR you can download our apps on Apple or Google Play.  Just go to www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/buyanapp and choose the genre that most appeals to you.  Then get your bluetooth headphones or ear-buds, and you’re ready to go!!

See you tomorrow!

 

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Welcome to Surgical Serenity Solutions 2020 Blog Series!

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Are you hungry for information about Music and Surgery?  Have you heard tidbits here and there about music’s power to greatly improve surgical outcomes, but just not sure how to implement the idea?  Have you had some negative surgical experiences in the past and are very anxious about going through it again for fear of a repeat?

If any of these are true, then this is going to be a great month for you to cozy up by the fireplace with your laptop, iPad or iPhone, and learn a little more each day about the many, many benefits of adding music to your surgical procedure, how to acquire the very best playlists, what constitutes the very best playlists, what the scientific research says about the importance of music with surgery, what Drs and other health professionals say about music and surgery, what patients have to say about how music improved their surgical experience, and how to get the right headphones for yourself!

Because I believe so strongly in this idea, I agreed to take a challenge that one of my fellow bloggers issued to do a blog post a day for the entire month of January on a topic near and dear to our hearts!  And I’m going to sweeten the deal by adding a video version of the blog post to each day’s offering.  I hope that you will find this helpful and that you will forward this valuable information to family and friends around the globe!

I’ve now spoken to audiences on this topic all over the continental United States as well as audiences in Hawaii, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, and coming soon…Norway!!!  Here is my tentative schedule:

January 1-7:   Overview of importance and benefits of music during surgery

January 8-15:  Characteristics of the ideal music for surgery, finding this music online, choosing the best headphones for YOU!

January 16-23:  What the medical and music therapy research says about this concept

January 24-31:  What physicians, nurses, and patients report about their experiences using music with surgery!

Anytime this month that you have a question, please post it here on this blog and I will address it immediately!  You can also post it on the Surgical Serenity Solutions Facebook page!

Sincerely,

 

Alice Cash, PhD, LCSW

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Another VA Hospital Adopts a Surgery with Music Program

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When the VA Hospital in Louisville, KY decided to purchase 100 of our headphones and conduct a clinical study on the benefits of music with surgery, we, Surgical Serenity Solutions, were thrilled!!   At the time, we were not aware of any other Veteran’s hospitals that had a music with surgery program, but that has now changed!!

The VA Hospital in Durham, NC has started a program for music with surgery and it’s very similar to ours, but also different.  They are using iPods that are loaded with a variety of surgery playlists, connected to disposable headphones.   Their music was selected based on veterans’ preferences whereas mine is chosen specifically for it’s ability to induce rhythmic entrainment.  Both methods are good, I think, but I do like the aspect of cordless headphones that already contain the music that will be used for surgery, loaded onto headphones!

I’ll probably be talking to them about trying our our headphones later this week!  Will keep you posted!!  Meanwhile, which would YOU prefer?

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New Uses for Serenity Solution Headphones: Parathyroid Surgery

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SSS in perioperative thyroid surgery

Patient before parathyroid surgery

Our Surgical Serenity Headphones have been used for so many different surgeries but this week a new one came to my attention:  parathyroid surgery.  This patient is a 67 y.o. lady with an impressive athletic career.  She has been winning trophies and medals for decades, but recently, in the course of some routine blood work, it was discovered that one of the parathyroid glands was malfunctioning and needed to be removed.

Of course, she wanted to use the Surgical Serenity Solutions headphones that she had bought several years ago for another surgery and had a positive experience. She told me that she has used them along and along for bouts of insomnia and stress, but that surgery is what she wanted to use them for primarily since she is very sensitive to anesthesia and wanted no more than absolutely necessary.

Since this was a new procedure, she checked in advance with the the surgeon and explained that these headphones were created specifically for surgery and are in use at Cleveland Clinic, as well as Mayo, Johns Hopkins, and VA Hospitals around the country!  The surgeon gave the green light and she prepared for her parathyroid surgery.

As fate would have it, things did not go exactly as planned!  The surgery started an hour later than scheduled, but patients said that she needed to anxiety meds while waiting because she had her headphones on and just closed her eyes and enjoyed the music while waiting to be called back.

Once it started, it took a little longer than anticipated because they decided to take part of her thyroid gland as well.  Of course she was asleep when that decision was made, but she reports she was so glad NOT to hear the conversation that went on about whether to remove part of the thyroid or not.

Surgical Serenity Solutions with parathyroid surgery

Patient after parathyroid surgery

Patient has been instructed to get lots of rest and not work out for a couple of weeks and she is OK with that.  This is the message friends:  even when you are super healthy and feeling no pain, a simple blood test can reveal a process going on in your body that you knew nothing about.  Be prepared!  These amazing headphones can be shipped to you overnight and they have been studies and tested in major hospitals around the country.  You can get your own set for under $100!  Go NOW to www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/patient-products.  

 

 

 

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The #1 Service Everyone Needs to Know about for Music in the Perioperative Period

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Are you having surgery or an anxiety-provoking medical procedure, you need to know about Surgical Serenity Solutions!  Our pre-loaded, cordless headphones have been on the market since 2009 and have been successfully used from coast to coast with hundreds of different medical procedures.

The music on our pre-loaded headphones is slow, soothing, steady music that was specially chosen by a clinical musicologist…me!!  Patients have raved about what a difference this music made to them and how they didn’t need ANY valium or other anxiety medication before their procedure.

Many patients have reported that even after having general anesthesia, they were NO nausea and vomiting afterwards and that they were able to go home in the shortest possible amount of time; often just hours.

There is so much clinical research documenting the many benefits of using music during the perioperative period including:

  • Less anxiety medication
  • Less pain medication
  • Less anesthesia
  • Blocking of disturbing conversation between medical staff
  • Blocking of sounds of surgery which can include drilling, hammering and sawing!
  • Faster recovery from the procedure, the anesthesia given and the incisions

The patient can now order their own headphones directly from www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com.  Don’t wait!  Get your headphones today, even before you need them.  They are also great for dental visits and procedures.  The whole family can use them!  Just go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com!

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Music After Surgery: PACU benefits

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CystoscopySSS

Music in the PACU

Have you used music after surgery in the PACU?  The surgery is over but the patient is still under anesthesia and just beginning to emerge.  The headphones are still on the patient’s head but is the music actually help the patient?  YES it is!  Based on the hundreds of people who have used the headphones, we have learned that the music can:

  • reduce nausea and vomiting
  • provide orientation to time and place, after being disoriented under anesthesia
  • allow for a faster release from the Post Anesthesia Care Unit
  • decrease perception of pain and pain med requirements
  • Help patient get back to the life before surgery was needed

Are these significant benefits?  You bet they are!  The thing about having the Surgical Serenity music playing from the moment you arrive at the hospital on the morning of surgery, is that it begins slowing down your rapid breathing (anxiety) and your rapid heartbeat (anxiety).  When you are anxious, your breathing becomes very shallow and rapid.  You feel like you might go into a “fight or flight” response.  How does the music slow down these involuntary responses?  It does it through a process called “Rhythmic Entrainment.”  This is the same phenomenon (from physics) that makes you clap your hands when you hear rhythmic music.  The process also works with slow, rhythmic music to calm you down by synchronizing your heartbeat and breathing to the pulse of the slow, rhythmic music.

When you go into surgery, the music helps KEEP the heart and breathing slow and steady, so you need less anesthesia during the surgery.  When this music is coming through our cordless headphones, patient doesn’t hear the surgeon’s conversation or music, which is often faster than healthy resting heartbeat.

By the time the patient gets to the recovery room, or PACU, the heartbeat and breathing remain slow and steady, but as the patient wakes up, the music helps to orient them to where they are and reminds them, in a positive way, of what just happened!  This is just a birdeye’s view of what happens when the patient uses our Surgical Serenity Solution during their surgery or other medical/dental procedure.  For a limited time, I’m offering a 25% off coupon.  Go to www.SurgicalHeadphones.com and put in the code:  25HPHONE.

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Pre-programmed headphones will make appearance around the country

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With the addition of our new “patient” model headphones, we are beginning to get calls from around the country from hospitals, pain clinics, surgery centers, and dental centers.  We’ve finally found a great headphone that is able to hold our patented and proven playlist and is quite affordable for these centers to GIVE to each patient.  That way there is absolutely no concern about spreading bacteria between patients, and patients can continue to heal after their surgery to the same music that soothed them before and during their procedure.

After spending many hours in hospital waiting rooms I’ve experienced that high level anxiety that permeates the atmosphere of most of the patients.  Just one week ago I was at a large hospitals waiting room downtown here in Louisville, KY and it was very obvious that they were understaffed and not well-prepared for the number of sick patients that crowded into every available chair.  After being called back into an examining room, the anxiety was still quite palpable and even behind the closed door, I could hear loud conversations from both nurses and patients.  There were even patieCystoscopySSSnts lying in the hallways and every interaction was quite public.

Imagine if this was you, and someone brought you a set of lightweight headphones with beautiful, calming soothing music to put on while you wait?  My family member, of course, had some because I always keep some with me for demonstrations.  It was really a huge relief for her because the noise level was so high and also  the anxiety hung heavy in the air.  Between conversation and examinations, she was actually able to sleep and tune out the noisy hallways and even the noisy nurses station.

If you are interested in getting our headphones into your local hospital or dental center, surgery center, pain center, or any medical facility, just get in touch with me through www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com and we’ll be happy to prepare an estimate for you.  The research is there.  Calm, soothing music makes a huge difference in reducing pain and anxiety in the surgical/dental setting.

 

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Headphones for the patient?

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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!!

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Why Headphones in Surgery?

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headphones in surgery

Headphones before surgery

Have you had headphones in surgery before?  This is increasingly happening in operating rooms around the world.  If so, you know that today, most surgeons play their preferred music in the OR.  Most of the time, they choose the music that they prefer.  I’m totally in support of the surgeon having his preferred music, but rarely is this the music that the patient needs to hear.

When preparing for surgery, the patient needs slow, soothing, steady, simple textured, purely instrumental music. That is likely NOT what the surgeon will be choosing.   The surgeon wants music that will help keep his energy and focus at a high level, sometimes rock and roll, sometimes upbeat jazz, sometime classical.  Ir order for the best surgical outcomes,  the patient needs to have headphones!

When the patient listens to their ideal music through lightweight, cordless headphones, such as the ones John has on in this photo, he can have the slow, steady, soothing music that will calm jangled nerves, stabilize breathing, blood pressure and body temperature, and decrease the need for as much anxiety medication and pain medication.  It may even decrease the amount of anesthesia required, because when the patient is relaxed prior to surgery, it takes less anesthesia to put them under.  And then the surgeon can have his own preferred music coming through speakers in the OR for him and for the staff to entrain with.

In addition to all the benefits for the patient and the surgeon, the hospital also benefits because in our research studies, patients who utilized the Surgical Serenity headphones had higher patient satisfaction ratings, across the board!

Another benefit is that HIPAA compliance is improved when patients are wearing the headphones in the pre-surgical area where medical staff is often discussing details of upcoming procedures with patients who are waiting in close proximity with only a curtain separating them.

To purchase the pre-programmed Surgical Serenity Headphones, click HERE.

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Putting Your Music on Our Headphones

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Are you think of putting your music on our headphones?  This afternoon I received an email from a lady who is having both knees replaced and wanted to use some music that she used 22 years ago for a heart procedure.  The problem is that the music, at that time, was on cassette tapes.  Can it be done?  Of course, but cassette tapes are in an analog format, so the music must be digitized.  It could be transformed into an MP3 file, or even a CD, which could be popped into a laptop and uploaded.

Will this lady be able to do that in time for her surgery?  We shall see.  She says she has some “young people” who can help and they are to call me tomorrow.  I certainly hope we can make it  happen for her, but this brings us to one of the main reasons I created these pre-programmed and programmable headphones in the first place.  When a patient finds out that they need surgery, or they decide that are going to have a procedure they’ve been putting off, creating their own music on headphones is not easy.  That’s why I’ve done it for you!  The classical piano music I’ve chosen is not familiar to most people and so there are no particular associations with it.

If you want to put your music on our headphones, you can certainly do it.  But you’ll need some basic skills with a USB cable and digital files.  If I can help or answer questions for you, don’t hesitate to email me here!!  Be healthy!

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