Day 4 of Music with Surgery Blog Series: Treating Anxiety and Pain Perception


This week we are looking at the many reasons that people use music with their surgeries.  For me, the reason has always been to ease anxiety and to decrease pain perception so that I don’t have to use any more pain medication than is absolutely necessary.  If course I don’t want to feel pain, but I also don’t want to be dependent on or addicted to opioid medication.

It’s not that the Drs don’t know how to prescribe these medications safely, but some people are just inherently prone to addiction.  There seems to be a true genetic tendency that is passed down in families and if that’s the case with your family, you might want to look into whether music will be an option for you!

As it turns out, I will be having surgery myself in less than 48 hours!  Will I be using music?  Of course!!  I’m having cataract surgery this Wednesday morning, January 8, as well as next Wednesday morning, January 15.  I have chosen to use my original pre-loaded headphones with the classical playlist because that’s the kind of music that I prefer.  This beautiful classical piano music is played by my dear friend and local concert pianist, Samuel Hodges.  I’ve heard it probably hundreds of times, but I never get tired of it and it always soothes and comforts me.

What is my anxiety level, you ask?  Well, not to make you uncomfortable, but just the thought of someone touching my eye with a scalpel and removing something, then adding something else, kind of freaks me out!  I know that my doctor is extremely capable and experienced but I’d rather not have surgery if there were any other way to deal with my declining visual acuity.  I know that our headphones have been used in this very facility before but I fully expect to have to convince some of the staff that they are not only perfectly safe, but were actually created for surgery and hold a U.S. Patent!  I went through all of this several years ago when I took a friend for his cataract surgery.  By the time I finished my pitch, everybody wanted to try them out and the surgery center made plans to order them for ALL of their patients!

Now that we have the 5 mobile apps for surgery, it’s even an easier process for people who want to bring their own Bluetooth headphones.  And there are some hospitals and Ambulatory Surgery Centers that are purchasing their own Bluetooth headphones and then subscribing to out playlists on a yearly basis to provide this music to their patients!  It’s great for patient satisfaction scores!

Please pass this link on to your doctors and friends!  Getting the word out is critically important if we want to make the operating room a safer, kinder and friendlier spot!