Surgery with Music Blog Series, Post #13, another cataract surgery with a different kind of music


So, yesterday was my second cataract surgery, this time on the left eye.  Overall, it’s been a relatively minor and pain=free experience, but because I had the multi=focal lens implanted afterwards I think it was a little more complicated than if they were JUST removing the cataract.  The good news is that I have no pain at all in the left eye, but the bad news is, I still need to use my reading glasses for sure.  Without them, things seem fuzzy and a little bit faint.  But, it’s only been one day and they are telling me that all vision, far, near and arm’s length will continue to improve for awhile.

I’m really not a fan of surgery, but if you really need it for whatever reason, I think you should probably have it.  But I am not one that will be getting cosmetic surgery just to look younger or have some far removed!  I know that surgery carries quite a few risks with it and that’s why I had the idea to add music to the procedure in a meaningful way that would truly make a different.

When I started reading about the phenomenon of rhythmic entrainment back in 1991 or so, I thought that this was an amazingly powerful process that was already going on in the universe and even in the human body, so why could we not harness this power to make surgery a safer and more tolerable procedure.  The first thing I did was to bounce this idea off of my music therapy colleagues as well as doctors and nurses that I knew were interested and knowledgeable.  They all said something like” I don’t know why that woudn’t work?  And I don’t know why someone didn’t think of this long ago!”

The fact is that people have been using music in the operating room (and the dental operatory) for decades, but that music was usually played so that doctor and patient could both hear it.  My idea was that doctor and patient each needed different music because patient needed to be calmed down and doctor needed to be focused and energized!  It took me until 2005 to come up with the idea of pre-programmed, cordless headphones with the ideal music on them but once I did, it really took off!

Anyway, what music did I use yesterday?  Well, now that I have my 5 mobile apps for surgery, people have the option to bring their own Bluetooth headphones and choose once of our apps.  I’ve used the pre-loaded headphones quite a few times for various procedures, so I decided to bring my Bluetooth headphones and use my Lullaby app.  I found it to be wonderful!  Of course I was listening to myself playing a beautiful Steinway grand in a recording studio here, but it brought back wonderful memories and I was pretty “blissed out” by the time I was wheeled into surgery.  As you can see, the headphones are considerably large than our programmed headphones, but it didn’t seem to matter.  As they had promised, the surgery was over in about 20 minutes and then before I knew it I was back home, resting comfortably  and so happy to have this cataract journey behind me!

If you want to hear a sample of the Lullaby playlist, simply go to Our Mobile Apps for Surgery, and you can hear a sample of each of the 5 playlists!  See you tomorrow!