Benefits of Hypnosis Prior to Surgery

Facing surgery? Consider preparing your mind beforehand—and feeling less pain afterward.

Dr. Guy Montgomery of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and his colleagues just published some significant findings about hypnosis and pain relief in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.*

Two hundred women undergoing surgery for breast cancer took part in the clinical trial. One hour before surgery, each woman was randomly assigned to either 15 minutes of hypnosis by a psychologist, or to a control session in which she spoke to a psychologist. Each session aimed to increase relaxation, reduce pain, and decrease nausea and fatigue. The researchers then compared the use of pain medications and sedatives during surgery, along with the pain levels and other side effects occurring after the surgery.

The findings?

  • The women who had hypnosis required less anesthesia;
  • They spent an average of almost 11 minutes less in surgery (which also meant an average decrease in the cost of surgery of about $773);
  • And after surgery, they reported less pain, nausea, fatigue, discomfort, and emotional distress.

"Together, the combination of potential improvement in symptom burden for the hundreds of thousands of women facing breast-cancer surgery each year and the economic benefit for institutions argues persuasively for the most widespread application of brief presurgical hypnosis," the authors write.

One of the nation's leading pain specialists is Dr. Carol Ginandes, a health psychologist on staff at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. Recently featured in Prevention magazine, Dr. Ginandes is also certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and uses hypnotherapy with patients preparing or recovering from accidents or surgery or who suffer chronic pain.

Obviously, having Dr. Ginandes at your bedside just before surgery would be a patient's dream. But even if you can't have her in person, we think we've found the next best thing: her program Smooth Surgery, Rapid Recovery: A Systematic Hypnotic Approach.

This audio hypnosis program is published by The Hypnosis Network, which works only with recognized, licensed mental-health professionals like Dr. Ginandes. It's also the only audio hypnosis company on the internet to have earned the Health on the Net (HON) seal. And to demonstrate how confident they are that the program is effective, the Hypnosis Network gives you a one-year money-back guarantee. Check it out at You'll be glad you did.

*G.H. Montgomery, D.H. Bovbjerg, J.B. Schnur, D. David, A. Goldfarb, et al. "A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Brief Hypnosis Intervention to Control Side Effects in Breast Surgery Patients," Journal of the National Cancer Institute, August 2007, Vol. 99, 1304-1312.