Music and Cardiac Surgery is a match made in Heaven!  One of the primary ways that music reduces anxiety is by synchronizing and stabilizing the heartbeat with the process of rhythmic entrainment.  Heartbeat and breathing are the two main rhythmic activities going on in a healthy body.  When a person is feeling either anxiety or pain their heartrate speeds up greatly and often becomes erratic as well.

Here’s the introduction from the study that just came out in the Netherlands yesterday in the journal “Open Heart” ( Kakar E, Billar RJ, van Rosmalen J, et al. Music intervention to relieve anxiety and pain in adults undergoing cardiac surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Heart 2021;7:e001474.doi:10.1136/openhrt-2020-001474)


Patients undergoing cardiac surgery often have perioperative anxiety and severe postoperative pain, despite the administration of benzodiazepines and opioids. Postoperative admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) exposes them to stressors known to increase anxiety and pain, such as noise, sleeplessness, mechanical ventilation and immobility. These stressors may lead to longer hospitalisation and higher use of benzodiazepines and opioids, with their inherent risk of side effects and adverse events. Research efforts have been directed towards approaches to relieve anxiety and pain. Apart from pharmacological therapies, nonpharmacological therapies have provided promising results.

A music intervention is relatively inexpensive and an easily applicable nonpharmaceutical intervention which has no known side effects. Previous studies in mixed surgical populations have found statistically significant beneficial effects of perioperative  recorded music on patients’ anxiety, pain and neurohormonal stress response, with less consumption of intraoperative sedatives and postoperative opioids. https://openheart.bmj.com/content/openhrt/8/1/e001474.full.pdf

This is particularly interesting to Surgical Serenity Solutions because our first patient was a 75-year old female undergoing bypass surgery and valve replacement.  It was a very positive experience for her compared to other surgeries this patient had undergone, such as hip replacements, back surgery, appendectomies and many others. This patient reported that as she was going under anesthesia the music felt very comforting to her and as she woke up, hours later, hearing the same music let her know that she was awakening from surgery and was OK.

The patient reported that in the recovery area that music was even more important because the post-op patients were just separated by curtains and she could faintly hear other patients moaning and calling for the nurse.  With her headphones on, she didn’t have to worry about that and she focused on the beautiful music and seeing her family again.  Later she said “I’ll never have surgery without these headphones again!!”

Surgical Serenity Solutions is the only company that that provides pre-loaded headphones exclusively for the patient.  Many hospitals play music chosen by the doctore overhead.  That music may be good for the doctor but is often very upbeat and not at all suitable for the patient.  Our music has the tempo of the healthy resting heartbeat and has been used in surgeries of all kind.  They are also very effective with dental procedures and anything procedure that causes anxiety and fears about pain.

Hospitals can purchase a starter pack of 12 headphones at www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/12pack

Patients can purchase their own individual pre-loaded headphones at www.surgicalserenitysolutions.com/products

The music on the heaphones plays continuously for 8 hours and headphones can be reused!