During surgery, what do staff talk about in the OR?

Cataract Surgery with Bluetooth headphones and Surgical Serenity Lullaby playlist

Dr Cash’s cataract surgery using Bluetooth headphones and Surgical Serenity playlist

I read a very interesting post yesterday. A nurse who worked in surgery 30-40 years ago said that during whatever procedure the surgeon was doing, he was talking to the patient the entire time. Even though the patient was under general anesthesia, the surgeon addressed him as Mr. ____ and explained everything he was doing, as he was doing it. He also added positive comments such as “the operation is going very well,” “you’re going to recover quickly and easily from this,” and “you will feel so much better for having had this procedure.”

He did not allow any OR chatter among the staff or talk about the patient as though he couldn’t hear them. I wonder how often this happens today, around the world?

Apparently this is not the norm today. The OR chatter is filled with topics that have nothing to do with the patient and sometimes the patient is talked about in a demeaning way. Now I don’t think that’s the norm, but it does happen and there have been lawsuits about this in the news recently.

Having surgery is a very frightening experience for many people. Just recently I was told that I need to have a biopsy on my thyroid and I am truly not looking forward to that! But surgeries, biopsies, and testing of all kinds are daily occurrences around the world.  Modern medicine has created many, many procedures that involve probing into the body to eliminate, destroy, or treat illness.

While this is going on, the patient benefits from being as calm as possible!  I actually love the idea of the doctor talking to the patient throughout the procedure, especially if it’s calm, positive talk.  I have heard from so many patients that even under general anesthesia, or perhaps as they were waking up, they heard OR staff discussing their lunch or dinner plans, their date the night before, or topics totally unrelated to their surgery or procedure. That does NOT feel good.  Patients don’t want to feel like their procedure is not that important to the people who are conducting it.

Actually, the turning point for me was when I heard that a surgeon in a large downtown hospital here was playing “Another one bites the dust” by QUEEN during most of his surgeries!  I was horrified! That is not funny or cute and is extremely disrespectful. How much kinder, healing, and respectful is addressing the patient directly with words that calm, soothe, and encourage the patient to begin healing. Think about it.

In the meantime, if  is not your practice to talk to the patient that you’re operating on, you should know that research shows that when patients listen to soothing music through headphones, they recover better and with less PONV. Get your patients the Surgical Serenity Solutions preloaded headphones, with soothing, slow and completely instrumental music. They will definitely thank you for this!


Preparing for plastic surgery with music


Preparing for plastic surgery with music.  Nearly every day I read a new source online where people are recommending music either before, during or after surgery. Of course my recommendation is to have all three. Music during the perioperative period is powerful!  And now that Surgical Serenity Solutions is a reality, more and more plastic and cosmetic surgeons are buying the pre-programmed headphones, and branding them for their practices.  Here’s an excerpt from another blog recommending music:
Written by Cathy Enns on February 5, 2009 – 3:26pm
As a plastic surgery writer, I’ve had the chance to talk with dozens of women about their experiences. While sharing feelings of excitement, anxiety and more, many have offered advice for others about preparing for surgery.
Let’s assume you’ve navigated the initial part of the process. You’re confident in your choice of plastic surgeon and surgical plan, and you have a date for the procedure. Now what? How can you help ensure smooth sailing?
Obviously, it’s vital to have your medications ready. Fill all prescriptions your surgeon writes, even if you don’t think you’ll use them. If it turns out you need something you don’t have on hand, chances are good you won’t feel much like visiting the pharmacy.
Think about other products that may make recovery easier. You may benefit from having certain creams or lotions at home. If you’re having facial plastic surgery, eye drops can soothe scratchy eyes.
Another important task is to choose a friend or loved one to help you. Your surgeon will require that someone drive you home after surgery, especially if you have general anesthesia. You should also plan to have someone stay overnight to help you with medications and to be there in case of problems.
The more invasive your procedure, the more you’ll want to have a loved one around to help for a few days. If you have children or pets to care for, it’s a relief to have someone else on the front lines. Remember that you’ll need plenty of rest and you’ll move a little more slowly at first. If you have breast or abdominal surgery, you won’t be able to lift much right away.
Finally, prepare your home to welcome you back. Most women like to return to a clean house, so apply some elbow grease before surgery. Put clean sheets on the bed and have soft pillows and throws for extra comfort. Stock up on food that’s easy to prepare and easy on your system. Have books and magazines you look forward to reading on hand, and some music or maybe a book on tape to listen to.
The first few days after surgery may be somewhat uncomfortable as your body adjusts and recovers, but preparing in advance can make all the difference. Turn your post-op period into a pleasant time of rest and relaxation.


How music affects the body during surgery


Why use music during surgery? This is one of the frequent questions asked when I go out into the world and quite understandable. In our society, music is thought of primarily as entertainment. Yes, people put it on their iPod or car CD player or home stereo system to chill-out, energize, or just as background music to their day.
Our world is full of music: TV, radio, movies and the ubiquitous iPod but music can also have powerful therapeutic benefits. When used during surgery music can help make the heart rate steady, the breathing steady, and the blood pressure moderate and steady. As a result, you will need less anesthesia to stay relaxed and sound asleep during your procedure. If this sounds too good to be true, just Google “music and surgery research” to see the hundreds of studies that have been conducted on this. There is absolutely no doubt about music’s effectiveness!
If you’d like to get the music that I have carefully and scientifically chosen for surgery, click on the link in the upper left corner. You can download it directly to your iPod or other MP3 player! Don’t hestitate to contact me with any questions. Best wishes for your successful surgery!

Go to Top