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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Which Do You Prefer?

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Are you a fan of mobile apps?  I don’t know how I could get along without them!  But for surgery?? People have been suggesting to me for 5-6 years now, that we put our Surgical Serenity playlists on an app.  I was reluctant to do this because I really believe in the simple convenience of having the best music on a device that had no cords hanging down and would allow our powerful, therapeutic music to be immediately available to the patient in a simple and easy to deliver format!

BUT, time marches on, and after the 100th (at least) person mentioned it yet again, I thought “Ok, there must be something I’m missing about this but let’s give it a try!  The way I understand it, in order to use this music, it must be downloaded on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.  Now those particular devices on known to be pretty germ-y!  Especially the iPhone!  Do we really want to be taking something like that into surgery?  But now I’m thinking that the music can also be streamed by bluetooth so that each OR can have a couple of pair of nice blue tooth headphones and a subscription to our five playlists.

I guess that there are many ways to handle this and each hospital will have to decide what works best for them.  I would love to sell just the five playlists in a digital subscription to hospitals but I’m not sure what the best way to do that might be.  And so, I am soliciting your feedback!  We are going through a beta-testing process right now and are looking for more beta-testers!  If you have a smartphone and are willing to listen to our music and give us some valuable feedback, please answer in the comments here with your email, name, and whether you have an iPhone or Android.  We’d also appreciate knowing a little bit about you, but you certainly don’t have to be a musician, a music therapy, or an anesthesiologist!

Thanks for your help and, as always, enjoy your favorite music every day!!

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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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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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Learn about the benefits of music with surgery!

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C-section Serenity Headphones

Benefits of music with surgery

The benefits of music with surgery are very great, but the majority of patients are not aware of them!  Nobody wants to have surgery and that’s a fact!!  I’ve had just a few procedures under the knife and with general anesthesia and it is not a pleasant experience. But now we know that using the right kind of music for the patient, before, during, and after the procedure can make a huge difference in how the patients feels, and even in how the procedure goes!

In the early 1990’s I was given the amazing opportunity to work at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine, conducting clinical research on the healing powers of music.  It was such a dream job for me because I knew that music was powerful medicine in all kinds of situations, but my boss, Dr. Joel Elkes, said that the medical world now demanded empirical evidence that this was the case, and that I would be the one to gather this empirical evidence!  Jump to 1994 and I was told that I need back surgery for a bulging/ruptured disc.  By then, I know that I was going to have specially chosen music (by me!) to listen to before, during and after the procedure.  I asked my surgeon, Dr. Wayne Villanueva if I could bring in my Walkman with three difference cassette tapes to listen to, and he that if I could also bring a friend to change the tapes at each juncture, that would be fine.

In July, 1994, I arrived at an excellent hospital here in Louisville, KY for my surgery.  I had put together a tape of my my favorite slow, steady, soothing and comforting music for the entire procedure, ending when I was released from the recovery room.  A friend changed the tapes for me as I left pre-surgery, and again when I arrived back into the recovery room.  The doctors were amazed!  They said that my procedure was faster than expected and that I required not only less pain medication and anxiety medication, but I actually used less anesthesia!  I felt nothing of course, but I did really enjoy the music as I was wheeled into the operating room and the anesthesia began to take effect.  In no time, I was waking up in recovery with the awareness of where I was and what had happened, but without the usual nausea and dizziness/confusion/brain fog.

Jump to 2005 and a fabulous conference in Cancun, Mexico that I went to, sponsored by the National Speaker’s Association.  This was a conference on Product Innovation and this is when I came up with the idea for Surgical Serenity Solutions!  To have pre-programmed headphones for the surgical patient, ready to go and deliver beautiful music, specially chosen for surgery, is a gift that is truly priceless!  We now have models for the patient to buy as well as for the hospital to have on hand for the patients.  I hope you’ll get yours today!  Don’t wait til you need surgery?  People are now using them for dental visits, insomnia, long plane rides and many more options!  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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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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Will Surgical Serenity be covered by insurance?

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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!

 

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