Surgery Preparation

Hypnosis for surgery is a practice that goes back into the 1800ís, when James Esdaile, a Scottish doctor practicing in Calcutta, used hypnosis to help his patients bear the pain of surgery.  Today, there is a resurgence of interest in hypnosis for surgery and many physicians around the country are studying hypnosis and other complementary medicine techniques in an effort to help their patients get the most effective care available.

In the mid-1990ís, Mehmet C. Oz, MD, director of the complementary medicine program at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, headed up a study focused on evaluating the role of self-hypnosis relaxation techniques on patientsí pain thresholds and quality of life after having coronary artery-bypass surgery.  Those using the techniques had less anxiety, anger and fatigue, and didnít need as much pain medication.

Patients anticipating surgery are taught guided imagery and self-hypnosis techniques which help them to relax for some of the less comfortable preoperative procedures.  They visualize themselves before, during and after surgery, feeling calm, trusting their physicians, with minimum pain and swelling in the surgical area.  They are given tapes they can use before, during and after the surgery to reinforce the techniques they have learned.

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