Hypnosis, local anaesthesia = good outcome

BRUSSELS, June 21 (UPI) -- Using both hypnosis and local anesthesia for some surgery can speed healing and reduce drug use and time spent in hospital, Belgian researchers say.

Fabienne Roelants and Dr. Christine Watremez of Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc in Brussels said in one study, 18 women out of 78 women had hypnosis for a number of breast cancer surgical procedures -- partial mastectomy, examination of lymph nodes and opening the armpit to examine or remove some or all of the lymph nodes. The rest had general anesthesia.

Although the hypnotized patients spent a few minutes more in the operating room, opioid drug use in the first group was greatly diminished, as was time in the recovery room and in the hospital, the researchers said.

In the thyroid study, the researchers compared the outcomes of 18 patients in the local anesthesia/hypnosis group with 36 who had general anesthesia and the results were similar.

"In addition to reducing drug use and hospital stay time, being able to avoid general anesthesia in breast cancer surgery is important because we know that local anesthesia can block the body's stress response to surgery and could therefore reduce the possible spread of metastases," Roelants said.

The findings were presented at the European Anaesthesiology Congress in Amsterdam.

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