The Songs that Make Foot Surgery Less Painful

Could music be the key to a more relaxed and natural surgical process?In my Houston podiatry practice, I always explore non-or-less-invasive treatment options first, but sometimes foot surgery is an absolute necessity.  For many patients, going under the knife inspires a lot of fear—particularly if they will require general anesthesia during the procedure.

Knowing the problems associated with anesthesia, Dr. Kathy Schlecht is in the midst of a ground-breaking new study to determine whether listening to music in the operating room can decrease a patient’s need for drugs.

The theory behind her study is that the right type of music can cause your body to naturally release dopamine and serotonin, promoting good feelings and relaxation without the use of outside chemicals.

To test her theory, Schlecht divided study participants into three groups—one listened to musical tracks she pre-selected, a second got to choose their own music and a third group listened to nothing, but used headphones so that operating physicians could not tell which patient had been assigned to which group.

Not all types of surgical patients were eligible to participate in the study, but individuals receiving less invasive procedures, like foot surgery or biopsies, were welcomed to the group. Of course, patients were given the option to take off their head phones and ask for more sedation at any time.

To date, only three dozen or so patients have been included in the study, but I’m excited to see what Dr. Schlecht’s research will reveal. General anesthesia can cause a lot of nasty side effects after surgery, which is just one of the reasons I prefer not to operate on a patient if a less invasive treatment option will provide him or her with comparable relief.

If you have been told you need foot surgery and want to work with a podiatrist who’s up on all the latest treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider today.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.