Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett, and Billy Joel?

Confession. I listen to Lady Gaga in the operating room.

Contrary to popular belief, the operating room is not a quiet, intense place where all you hear is the beeping of the anesthesia machine and an occasional grunt from the surgeon. Most ORs are filled with music – classical, country, pop, rock, heavy metal, even hard-core gangster rap.

The few studies that have analyzed the effects of music in the OR found that music generally has a positive influence on a surgeon’s performance. But does it matter what type of music your surgeon plays? Apparently.

A study published in “Surgical Endoscopy” last year found that classical music affected surgeons more positively than hard rock or heavy metal. Another study published by “Surgical Innovation” named hip-hop and reggae the music that most benefited surgeons’ performances.

It probably comes down to taste, with surgeons finding comfort and inspiration working to the music they like to hear. And music doesn’t just affect doctors.

Multiple studies indicate that patients dig music, too. They appear more relaxed, require less anesthesia and recover quicker when physicians play tunes in the OR.

Or course, there’s always a flip side.

I have spent time in a few operating rooms where I believe the music created a negative impact.

I once worked with an orthopedic surgeon whose massive boom box blared Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All” at the decibel level of a jet engine while he pounded a rod into a patient’s leg bone with a large surgical hammer.

I also know a surgeon who plays hard-core rap laced with graphic curse words guaranteed to shock, offend and annoy the nurses. This music doesn’t relax anyone in the OR.

Probably the worst offender I’ve come across was a surgeon I worked with in residency who repeat-played the same CD by Phil Collins all day long. To this day, I’d rather poke my eyes out with a dull pencil than listen to “Sussudio” ever again.

So what kind of music do I play in the operating room? Depends.

I try to match the music on my iPhone to the surgery I perform. For procedures that demand high intensity and concentration, like facelifts, I play softer, acoustic music, such as the Indigo Girls or Billy Joel.

For surgeries that can be more repetitious and physically-demanding, like liposuction, I put on faster music that energizes me, such as Lady Gaga or ’80’s hair bands. For everything else, I go with my main man, Jimmy Buffett.

Bottom line, in my operating room, to relax me and my staff, boost morale and relieve the monotony of repetitive surgeries, I turn on the music.

One exception: That sensitive time when the nurse wheels the patient into the operating room, right before the patient falls asleep.

Patients often arrive in surgery nervous and scared. This is when I turn the volume down and play music that creates a calm, soothing environment. Best to avoid certain songs during this sensitive transition into sleep.

I would hate to have the last song my patient hears before going under be “Let It Bleed,” “Take My Breath Away” or – God forbid – “Don’t Fear The Reaper.”


Here are the latest episodes of my new podcast, The Holistic Plastic Surgery Show. Please SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss a single information-packed show!

Episode #77– Foods That Are Sabotaging Your Aging…And What To Eat Instead – In this episode, I reveal eight surprising foods and drinks that you might think are good for you but actually aren’t. Some of these (like soy milk and microwave popcorn) are considered ‘healthy’ foods by most, and others are ingested way too frequently. I explain why these eight foods are actually bad for your health and appearance, and what you may want to consider eating or drinking instead. It’s a “Don’t Eat This, Eat That Instead” episode that will surprise you!

Listen HERE with Apple devices or HERE with Android phones.

 

 


Episode #76 – Holistic Dermatology – How To Get Healthy and Youthful Skin with Dr. Keira Barr – Our skin is whispering (and sometimes screaming) at us all day, every day. As the largest organ of the body, it tells us all about our underlying physical and psychological condition. On this episode we tackle several important topics in holistic skin care and holistic dermatology, including how the food we eat affects the aging and health of our skin (and which foods are good and bad for it!), whether you should get your Vitamin D from supplements or the sun, supplements to help prevent skin cancer, Retin-A, and a whole lot more.

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