Music quickens patient recovery

Music during surgery quickens patient"s recovery

NEW YORK : Hearing soothing music and encouraging words while under anesthesia may ease patients" recovery after surgery, results of a Swedish study suggest.

Women undergoing hysterectomies who listened to relaxing music and sounds of ocean waves while under general anesthesia experienced less pain, were less fatigued when released from the hospital, and were able to sit up sooner after their operation than patients who did not listen to music, researchers report.

And women who listened to music and encouraging words during the operation needed less pain medication immediately after surgery and were also less likely to feel tired when they went home from the hospital, according to findings published in a recent issue of the journal Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica.

Even though people are unconscious when under general anesthesia, research suggests tat the brain may be more aware of what happens during surgery than previously thought. Because of this so-called intra-operative awareness, patients may overhear the remarks of doctors and nurses, which could lead to anxiety and dissatisfaction after surgery, Dr. Ulrica Nilsson at Orebro Medical Center Hospital in Sweden and colleagues report.

To protect patients from inappropriate or misinterpreted comments overheard during surgery, "taped soothing music or music in combination with therapeutic suggestions could be provided to all patients undergoing surgery under anesthesia," Nilsson said. Nilsson"s team based their conclusions on a study of 90 women who were randomly assigned to listen to music, a combination of music and therapeutic words or ordinary sounds of the operating room during a hysterectomy.