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Hypnosis Plus Local Anesthesia Might Work Well for Some Surgeries
Date:6/14/2011

cancer surgeries performed at UCL rely on the local anesthetic/hypnosis combo. The researchers suggest that the technique may also be applicable to a wide range of additional procedures, including carotid artery surgery, knee arthroscopy, gynecological surgery, plastic surgery and egg retrieval for fertility treatment.

But, Dr. Daniel Sessler, professor and chair of the department of outcomes research at The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, cautioned that the current findings should not be viewed as conclusive.

"This is not a formal comparison of two anesthesiology options," he noted. "So, while on the one hand this legitimately shows that [the researchers] were able to use this hypnosis technique among particular patients -- and that for them it worked -- this is not a formal evaluation of hypnosis."

"So if the question is, 'Could hypnosis be useful in some select cases?', the answer is yes," Sesser said. "And to the extent that it does work for some patients, it is probably helpful and in the patient's best interest. But that is very different from saying that this is proof that hypnosis always works for all patients. We cannot say that at all from this [study]."

More information

For more on hypnosis, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCES: Daniel Sessler, M.D., professor and chair, department of outcomes research, The Cleveland Clinic, Ohio; European Anaesthesiology Congress, June 12, 2011, news release


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