Researchers at the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, the University of Liege, Belgium investigated the benefits of hypnotherapy in assisting local anaesthesia for patients undergoing plastic surgery. 337 patients requiring minor and major plastic surgery requiring local anaesthesia together with conscious intravenous sedation were divided into three groups.
The first group received intravenous sedation, the second group received hypnotherapy during which patients achieved an hypnotic trance level, and third group received general relaxation incorporating hypnotherapy without the required hypnotic trance level. Pain scores, anxiety scores and levels of intravenous sedative required were recorded and then compared.
The results showed that anxiety scores were significantly lower in the hypnotherapy and relaxation groups and the levels of sedative required were also significantly lower in the hypnotherapy and relaxation groups.
Furthermore, postoperative vomiting and nausea was only 1.2 per cent in the hypnotherapy group compared to 12.8 per cent in the relaxation group and 26.7 per cent in the intravenous sedation group. The hypnotherapy group also reported higher satisfaction with the anaesthetic procedure and greater surgical comfort.
The researchers concluded that hypnotherapy as an adjunct sedation procedure to conscious intravenous sedation produced greater relief from pain and anxiety than conventional intravenous sedation, enabled significant reduction in drug sedative requirements and significantly improved patients satisfaction and comfort.
Faymonville M et al. Hypnosis as adjunct therapy in conscious sedation for plastic surgery. Reg Aneash 1995. 20;2,145-151