Preparing Yourself For Your Surgery by Ron Eslinger, CRNA, MA, APN, BCH, CI
In 1982 Ron Eslinger recorded his first “Preparing for Surgery and During Surgery” tapes. In 2000, Blue Shield of California reported they had a new tactic to ease surgery: The insurer sends members a 20-minute guided-imagery tape or CD. Patients listen to it several times before surgery. A soothing voice instructs them to visualize an operating room complete with a team of competent surgeons and a cheering section of their family and friends. Next, it guides them into a recovery room where they calmly awaken as their body continues to heal. It sounds a little strange, but studies have shown that patients who listen to the tapes experience less anxiety before surgery, and less blood loss and pain after surgery. They even need less medical care and medication. According to the National Institutes of Health, relaxation techniques such as guided imagery and hypnosis are excellent for stress reduction and pain management.
Research associated with this product:
The Effects of Guided Imagery on Post-Operative Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Same-Day Surgical Procedures
Authors: Capt Eric A. Gonzales, RN, BSN, NC, USAF; Capt Rachel J.A. Ledesma, RN, BSN, NC, USAF; Capt Danielle J. McAllister, RN, BSN, CEN, NC, USAF; Lt Col (sel.) Susan M. Perry, CRNA, MS, NC, USAF; Lt Col Christopher A. Dyer, CRNA, MS, NC, USAF; CDR John P. Maye, CRNA, PhD, NC, USN; Capt Michael R. Eslinger, CRNA, MA, NC, USN, Retired.
Affiliation: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Introduction: Guided imagery, a form of relaxation using deliberate daydreaming, is a complementary therapy often utilized by anesthesia providers which can positively impact peri-operative outcomes. While several investigations have suggested guided imagery improves peri-operative outcomes in the inpatient settings, there is limited research into the value and feasibility in the ambulatory surgery realm. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of guided imagery on postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing same day surgical procedures.
Conclusion: The utilization of Guided Imagery in the ambulatory surgery setting, even when initiated just prior to surgery, can significantly reduce preoperative anxiety which can result in less postoperative pain and earlier PACU discharge times.
I recently had liposuction surgery and the anesthesiologist (who is now a certified hypnotherapist) let me listen to both of your surgical CDs. Following the surgery, everyone said that they had never had any recovery like I had…no pain, and feeling well. I really believe it was due to the CDs. -Anita
I never did tell you that I DID listen to your pre/post surgery CD before and after surgery and I did very, very well. I don’t recall having any serious pain–maybe just a little discomfort but nothing a few pain pills couldn’t handle. I remember my two C-sections as being considerably worse. Even though I’m 20 years older, I healed very quickly–the doctor was even surprised–and went back to work in less time than predicted (he released me 4-1/2 weeks after surgery instead of 6 weeks). In truth, I could have come back to work sooner than that…but I enjoyed my time at home and milked it for all it was worth! -Joanne
I’m a fellow CRNA. Anywho, I bought your preparing for surgery hypnosis CD at the spring OSANA meeting in Columbus, Oh and used it for approximately 7 days preop before having a Decompressive Lami L4-5, with screws, plates and posterior IB Fusion. I wanted to tell you how WELL I have done post-op. My biggest fear was Post-op N&V which I always suffer from terribly, I had NONE!!! Have had Zofran before without success, now this time I did get 8mg of Decadron with the Zofran but I’m sure your D had a great deal to do with my comfort as well. Woke up in RR and remember I kept saying, “I’m not sick” “I’m not sick”. They had me on a Morphine PCA basal rate of 2mg/hr, never used the bolus at all. Did have an On Q pump with Marcaine 0.5% in the epidural space which I know helped a lot but still, not to be sick with a Morphine pump…..UNBELIEVABLE!!! Got discharged a day early and have been great since!! Thanks so much, thought you’d enjoy hearing a success story
Five Critical Features for listening to your CDs
- Place: Find a quiet room where you can relax undisturbed.
- Position: For best results, all parts of your body should be comfortably supported. Use a bed, a couch or a recliner.
- Clothing: Wear loose comfortable clothing.
- Time: Try to schedule a fixed time every day so you won’t forget.
- Focus: While listening to the CD simply focus your attention.
CD #1 is an introduction and an explanation of how to use CD #2.
Listen to CD #2, daily, prior to your Surgery.