Learn about the benefits of music with surgery!


C-section Serenity Headphones

Benefits of music with surgery

The benefits of music with surgery are very great, but the majority of patients are not aware of them!  Nobody wants to have surgery and that’s a fact!!  I’ve had just a few procedures under the knife and with general anesthesia and it is not a pleasant experience. But now we know that using the right kind of music for the patient, before, during, and after the procedure can make a huge difference in how the patients feels, and even in how the procedure goes!

In the early 1990’s I was given the amazing opportunity to work at the University of Louisville’s School of Medicine, conducting clinical research on the healing powers of music.  It was such a dream job for me because I knew that music was powerful medicine in all kinds of situations, but my boss, Dr. Joel Elkes, said that the medical world now demanded empirical evidence that this was the case, and that I would be the one to gather this empirical evidence!  Jump to 1994 and I was told that I need back surgery for a bulging/ruptured disc.  By then, I know that I was going to have specially chosen music (by me!) to listen to before, during and after the procedure.  I asked my surgeon, Dr. Wayne Villanueva if I could bring in my Walkman with three difference cassette tapes to listen to, and he that if I could also bring a friend to change the tapes at each juncture, that would be fine.

In July, 1994, I arrived at an excellent hospital here in Louisville, KY for my surgery.  I had put together a tape of my my favorite slow, steady, soothing and comforting music for the entire procedure, ending when I was released from the recovery room.  A friend changed the tapes for me as I left pre-surgery, and again when I arrived back into the recovery room.  The doctors were amazed!  They said that my procedure was faster than expected and that I required not only less pain medication and anxiety medication, but I actually used less anesthesia!  I felt nothing of course, but I did really enjoy the music as I was wheeled into the operating room and the anesthesia began to take effect.  In no time, I was waking up in recovery with the awareness of where I was and what had happened, but without the usual nausea and dizziness/confusion/brain fog.

Jump to 2005 and a fabulous conference in Cancun, Mexico that I went to, sponsored by the National Speaker’s Association.  This was a conference on Product Innovation and this is when I came up with the idea for Surgical Serenity Solutions!  To have pre-programmed headphones for the surgical patient, ready to go and deliver beautiful music, specially chosen for surgery, is a gift that is truly priceless!  We now have models for the patient to buy as well as for the hospital to have on hand for the patients.  I hope you’ll get yours today!  Don’t wait til you need surgery?  People are now using them for dental visits, insomnia, long plane rides and many more options!  www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com!


Music in the Ambulatory Surgical Center


Anesthesia + music through headphones

Dr. Cash at BeckersASC conference in Chicago

I have just returned from a wonderful conference on Ambulatory Surgery Centers!  You know, the free-standing surgery centers that are springing up around the world to do smaller procedures such as cataract surgery, colonoscopies, and now, even joint replacements?

We have several here in Louisville and when I found out that they are usually less expensive for the patient, and have fewer restrictions (sometimes, depending on how successful they are) on expenditures.  I thought it would be a grand idea to go to this big conference in Chicago, called BeckersASC conference.

I decided to take 5 of my new “patient model” headphones with me to Chicago to give to companies and surgery centers that demonstrated a strong and sincere interest in our product.  Needless to say there was so many seriously interested companies and doctors and nurses that I gave them away quickly!  Unlike other conferences I’ve been to, this conference had many, many wonderful tracks of presentations and the people that were most receptive and enthusiastic, were the presenters at these conferences!

I learned so much about the medical side and the business side of these ambulatory surgery centers and our pre-programmed headphones fit beautifully into both sides.  The neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons thought this was a wonderful idea from the standpoint of patient anxiety and pain levels.  On the business/regulatory side of things, everyone concerned remarked that HIPAA was probably being violated with patients in these centers being separated only by a thin curtain.

I know this from personal experience recently I took  a friend for cataract surgery at the ambulatory center here.  While being prepped for surgery and in the recovery area, I could hear every word that was being said to the patients on either side of him.  He could not hear, because he had the Surgical Serenity headphones on!  When I mentioned this at the surgery center, they all nodded in agreement and admitted that it probably is a violation.

Dozens of physicians and anesthesia companies said that they will be in touch!  I’ll keep you posted!


More about the Cloud Kits


The Cloud Kit openbox

The Cloud Kit for hospitals

As the Cloud Kit is beginning to get some traction in hospitals around the country, I’d like to share more about the Cloud Kit.  Like all of our Surgical Serenity Solutions products, the Cloud Kit was intended to be used in the Surgical Suite.  The benefit of the Cloud Kit over individual headphones is that you have 10 ready-to-go, fully charged headsets, all in one place, and with disposable earpiece covers available in a dispenser on the side.

The headphones sit on a USB hub that keeps them charged.  These are the premium, hospital model that will play for 20-24 hours continuously.  The playlist is a little over 90 minutes and loops continuously.

Currently the Cloud Kit is being used at major hospitals in Florida, Cleveland, California and soon Texas and Chicago!!  Although created for surgery, doctors, dentists, and nurses have quickly recognized all of the other possible uses for these ingenious headphones.  The Cloud Kit is being used with a chemotherapy department at one hospital, pain management research at another, endoscopy suite and ambulatory surgery at another.

Many hospitals have purchased individual headphones to use through the entire hospitals such as the Veteran’s Hospital here in Louisville, which purchased 100 individual headphones!  Then there are the individual patients that have purchased headphones for their surgery, labor and delivery, dental procedure or whatever.

In terms of the music, it’s important to remember that the music is NOT for entertainment purposes!  The whole point of the pre-loaded music is to have music which engages RHYTHMIC ENTRAINMENT in the patient.  When this happens, the patient is quickly calmed by the slow, steady, soothing tempo of this music.  Currently it is classical piano music which lulls the patient into a state in which the vital signs of heartbeat, pulse, blood pressure and breathing are stabilized and balanced by our proprietary music.  Of course this process works with the brain to balance both hemispheres, through the corpus collosum!  Once the Surgical Serenity Solution is in more hospitals, we will create more playlists in other genres, as music that engages rhythmic entrainment can be found or created in any genre.  Stay tuned!  Exciting times!


Dental Pain eased with Surgical Serenity


dentistry music

Calming down with SSS music through cordless headphones, waiting for implant procedure to start.

Dental Pain is one of the most frequently encountered pains in today’s world.  We all know that we’re supposed to go to the dentist at least twice a year, but no one really wants to go.   Who would?  Psychologists tell us that lying on your back, with a relative stranger in your face, is a very stressful position to be in anyway; then the high-pitched drill starts and your whole body tenses up, in preparation for the pain which can be excruciating at any time!  It’s a wonder that ANYONE goes to the dentist willingly!

One of the things we know about pain, and the anticipation of pain, is that it makes people tense up every muscle in their body, in preparation for fight or flight.  The problem is that when the muscles are tense, the pain is worse!  The more relaxed the body can be, the better the anesthetic will work, whether novocaine or, in the case of many dental surgeries, general anesthesia.

For decades now, dentists have been offering nitrous oxide as a way of helping patients relax but nitrous oxide brings it’s own perils.  One of the biggest is Lack of Oxygen
Lack of oxygen is the most serious Nitrous Oxide side effect. Medically known as ‘hypoxia’, it occurs when someone stops breathing or breathes too shallowly or too slowly to meet their oxygen requirements- usually because they are overly sleepy from the nitrous oxide drug sedation. While this is a very rare side effect of nitrous oxide, it does occur. The majority of the time, this reduced oxygen is caught very early, the patient is given oxygen, helped to wake up more, and there is no lasting damage. But if the hypoxia goes unnoticed for too long, then brain damage and even death HAS occurred. Again, this is a VERY rare nitrous oxide side effect, but it IS real. (see http://www.side-effects-site.com/nitrous-oxide-side-effects.html)

That is why our Surgical Serenity Solutions scientifically chosen music, through our lightweight, cordless headphones, is the ideal way, not only to relax the body, but also to greatly reduce the NOISE of the drill and other high-powered equipment being used.  If you or a family member have a dental procedure coming up, please get yourself and your family to use through the procedure.



Colonoscopy greatly eased with Surgical Serenity Solutions


Surgical Serenity w colonoscopy

after the colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a common procedure these days, and one that is very helpful for diganosing colon cancer in its earliest stages.  BUT, it sure is not a pleasant procedure, even after you’ve done the cleansing prep!  I was told that it was time for my every 10 years colonoscopy and I was not looking forward to it.  Of course I knew immediately that I would use my Surgical Serenity Solutions headphones and music.

I decided to start preparing myself 10 days in advance by limiting the amount of meat that I ate, and for the last four days, had no meat at all.  I wanted the prep cleanse to be as easy as possible and, although, it wasn’t pleasant, it wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the previous ones.   The last 36 hours before my colonoscopy, I had no solid food at all and that was definitely not pleasant.  I bought plenty of chicken broth, jello (but nothing red, purple or orange!) apple juice, ginger ale, and black coffee.

I had to be at the hospital by 7:30 a.m and was up for much of the night before going through the cleanse process. ;-(  As soon as I checked into the hospital colonoscopy suite, I put on my Surgical Serenity headphones and immediately began to calm down and relax.  By the time they called me back about 30-40 minutes later, I was almost asleep!  The nursing staff was so interested and wanted to know all about them and even try them on!!

So after the anesthesiologist had checked in with me and the nurse had inserted the IV, I was wheeled away for the colonoscopy procedure, headphones still playing the beautiful, soothing, calming music.  Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room and asking for some coffee and asking if I could go out for breakfast!!  I was starving!  Unlike previous procedures, I had absolutely no nausea or grogginess.  I do believe that the Surgical Serenity headphones made a huge difference and I continued to wear them all the way to breakfast!


Cataract Surgery Case History with Surgical Serenity Solutions


Cataract Surgery:  Our headphones continue to be used with a wide variety of surgeries and procedures.  One of the most recent was a cataract surgery with a 65-year-old male patient.  The patient was moderately anxious before the procedure, primarily because he didn’t want to be sidelined too long with anesthesia related “brain fog.”  When he heard about the anesthesia-sparing benefits of music, he was eager to try them.

Cataract Surgery w Music

Waiting for cataract surgery

Before the Cataract Surgery

Waiting to be called back; wearing headphones

The patient put the headphones on as soon as he arrived at the surgery center for outpatient surgery.  As you can see from the picture, he was comfortable enough with the fit and the music to start working immediately on his iPhone!  Patient reports that one of the things he appreciated most about his nearly 60-minute wait prior to prep, was that he didn’t have to listen to other people’s conversations or the TV that was playing in the waiting room.

When patient was finally called back, he continued listening to the soothing, rhythmic music as gown was donned and IV inserted.  The next photo reflects his calm and readiness to go into cataract surgery:  Patient reported that in addition to cataract surgery, he was also getting an implant to improve his near-sightedness.


After cataract surgery with Surgical Serenity Solution

After the surgery, the patient said that the music had accompanied throughout the entire surgery and that when he woke up from the anesthesia, he immediately remembered where he was and why he was there.  He said that in previous surgeries he had awakened not knowing where he was and feeling nauseous.  This time, he felt calm, alert, focused, and ready to go home.

The operating team said that he had taken a minimum of anesthesia and no pain medication at all.  He was sent home with nothing more than the usual eye drops every few hours, eye protector and advil, if needed, and which he did not need.  Patient says that he is so glad that he used the headphones and that he will always do so in the future!

To get your own Surgical Serenity Solutions pre-programmed headphones, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com.  We have two different models.  Both have the same proven successful music on them.  Buy some today for your family to use.  Dental work, blood work, MRIs, any procedure that causes anxiety or potential pain will be improved when wearing these lightweight, cordless headphones.



3 Things to consider if you’re going under general anesthesia


RecoverySliderAre you having surgery sometime soon?  Are you concerned about going under general anesthesia because you’ve heard that general anesthesia is dangerous?   General anesthesia is probably safer than it’s ever been.  There is certainly a direct correlation between the amount of anesthesia a person needs, and the speed with which they recover.   If you have had a previous bad experience with anesthesia or are elderly, frail, or red-headed (yes, redheads react very differently to anesthesia!), OR, if you’re just a little anxious, then there are few basic facts you should know.

  1.  Ask your doctor if you absolutely need general anesthesia.  Many procedures can be done under a regional block or even local anesthesia.  But if you’re having open-heart surgery or other surgeries that require general anesthesia, then find other ways to reduce the amount, like supplementing with slow, steady, soothing music.
  2. Your chances of dying under general anesthesia are 11-16 per 100,000 and much does depend on the age and general level of health of the patient before the procedure.  The anesthesiologist is closely monitoring every aspect of your body rhythms and levels and has many ways of keeping you safe.
  3.  If you can meet with the anesthesiology team before the procedure, to discuss any concerns or previous surgery issues, or problems related to anesthesia that run in your family, that will let you rest easier.

Anesthesia is administered safely every day around the world, but if you’re having surgery for the first time, or have had a difficult experience with anesthesia in the past, then you want to be as well prepared as possible.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the use of music as an adjunct to anesthesia. Just last August (2015) the esteemed British Journal “The Lancet” published a huge meta-analysis of over 4000 studies on the use of music with surgery.  The overwhelming verdict is that music is a powerful and easy to administer adjunct to anesthesia.  And NOW, the study that was done last year at the VA Hospital here in Louisville, KY, is just about to be published in the International Journal of Anesthesia an Research (IJAR).  Our product is poised to be in every OR on the planet within 10 years and we are working day and night to get the price down to where individuals can afford it, as well as hospitals when they order in bulk.  Surgical Serenity Solutions has created cordless, pre-programmed headphones for the patient to wear, starting pre-surgery and continuing on through surgery and into the recovery room.  To learn more about these and purchase them, go to www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com.  You can reduce the amount of anesthesia required, have a safer procedure, and recover faster.


Music After Surgery: PACU benefits



Music in the PACU

Have you used music after surgery in the PACU?  The surgery is over but the patient is still under anesthesia and just beginning to emerge.  The headphones are still on the patient’s head but is the music actually help the patient?  YES it is!  Based on the hundreds of people who have used the headphones, we have learned that the music can:

  • reduce nausea and vomiting
  • provide orientation to time and place, after being disoriented under anesthesia
  • allow for a faster release from the Post Anesthesia Care Unit
  • decrease perception of pain and pain med requirements
  • Help patient get back to the life before surgery was needed

Are these significant benefits?  You bet they are!  The thing about having the Surgical Serenity music playing from the moment you arrive at the hospital on the morning of surgery, is that it begins slowing down your rapid breathing (anxiety) and your rapid heartbeat (anxiety).  When you are anxious, your breathing becomes very shallow and rapid.  You feel like you might go into a “fight or flight” response.  How does the music slow down these involuntary responses?  It does it through a process called “Rhythmic Entrainment.”  This is the same phenomenon (from physics) that makes you clap your hands when you hear rhythmic music.  The process also works with slow, rhythmic music to calm you down by synchronizing your heartbeat and breathing to the pulse of the slow, rhythmic music.

When you go into surgery, the music helps KEEP the heart and breathing slow and steady, so you need less anesthesia during the surgery.  When this music is coming through our cordless headphones, patient doesn’t hear the surgeon’s conversation or music, which is often faster than healthy resting heartbeat.

By the time the patient gets to the recovery room, or PACU, the heartbeat and breathing remain slow and steady, but as the patient wakes up, the music helps to orient them to where they are and reminds them, in a positive way, of what just happened!  This is just a birdeye’s view of what happens when the patient uses our Surgical Serenity Solution during their surgery or other medical/dental procedure.  For a limited time, I’m offering a 25% off coupon.  Go to www.SurgicalHeadphones.com and put in the code:  25HPHONE.


Pre-programmed headphones will make appearance around the country


With the addition of our new “patient” model headphones, we are beginning to get calls from around the country from hospitals, pain clinics, surgery centers, and dental centers.  We’ve finally found a great headphone that is able to hold our patented and proven playlist and is quite affordable for these centers to GIVE to each patient.  That way there is absolutely no concern about spreading bacteria between patients, and patients can continue to heal after their surgery to the same music that soothed them before and during their procedure.

After spending many hours in hospital waiting rooms I’ve experienced that high level anxiety that permeates the atmosphere of most of the patients.  Just one week ago I was at a large hospitals waiting room downtown here in Louisville, KY and it was very obvious that they were understaffed and not well-prepared for the number of sick patients that crowded into every available chair.  After being called back into an examining room, the anxiety was still quite palpable and even behind the closed door, I could hear loud conversations from both nurses and patients.  There were even patieCystoscopySSSnts lying in the hallways and every interaction was quite public.

Imagine if this was you, and someone brought you a set of lightweight headphones with beautiful, calming soothing music to put on while you wait?  My family member, of course, had some because I always keep some with me for demonstrations.  It was really a huge relief for her because the noise level was so high and also  the anxiety hung heavy in the air.  Between conversation and examinations, she was actually able to sleep and tune out the noisy hallways and even the noisy nurses station.

If you are interested in getting our headphones into your local hospital or dental center, surgery center, pain center, or any medical facility, just get in touch with me through www.SurgicalSerenitySolutions.com and we’ll be happy to prepare an estimate for you.  The research is there.  Calm, soothing music makes a huge difference in reducing pain and anxiety in the surgical/dental setting.



Headphones for the patient?


Headphones for the patient undergoing surgery is a must!  Why has it taken so long for the medical/surgical community to realize this?  Surgeons have been using music for themselves, assuming that if the patient enjoys it, that would be nice, but not medically significant.  Has there been a misunderstanding?  No, I think it’s a matter of educating the patients, the doctors, and the hospital administrators.  Surgeons have been choosing their preferred music in the OR for many decades now.  Patients and administrators have assumed that the music would also be effective for them, especially since they would be asleep for most of that time.

But is that really the case?  NO.  When music is being played ambiently in the OR, through speakers on a nearby table or counter, speakers in the wall or ceiling, the patients may vaguely hear that music, but they also hear the conversations, the sounds of surgery (which might include drilling, sawing, and hammering!) and the beeping of various monitors in the OR!  This is not soothing for the patient.

After over a decade of research, and patient/staff accounts, we know for sure, that when the patient puts on cordless, lightweight headphones that are pre-programmed with soothing, slow and rhythmic music, they do better.  Why?  Because the music that has been chosen is the ideal music to engage rhythmic entrainment and place the patient in a “sonic cocoon.”  This keeps that patients heartrate and breathing synchronized to the music, and outside conversation and noises do not penetrate the patient’s consciousness.

We are excited about our new headphone model that is priced so that the hospital can GIVE each surgical patient a headphone to take home with them.  Our initial efforts are focusing on hospitals that have multiple facilities around the country, but if you would like us to talk with administrators at your hospital, just let us know, and we’d be happy to set up an initial call!!