Breast cancer: hypnosis to better recover from an operation?

Posted by Jason Newland on

September 19, 2007 -

A short hypnosis session before surgery to treat breast cancer would have several benefits for patients. This technique would reduce the pain, discomfort, nausea, fatigue and emotional problems associated with the procedure.

Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Oncology Department in New York City have conducted a clinical trial 1 of 200 women undergoing breast surgery. Just before the intervention, patients spent 15 minutes alone with a psychologist for either a hypnosis session or for empathic support (control group).

Compared with those in the control group, patients in the hypnosis group would have needed lower doses of analgesic (lidocaine) and sedative (propofol) during the procedure. They also felt less pain, discomfort, nausea, fatigue, and emotional distress as a result of the operation.


The hypnosis sessions would also have saved the hospital nearly $ 800 per patient since the women in this group needed less care than the others after the operation. The researchers took into account the actual costs of the drugs used and the required staff for each patient in their calculation.

The hypnosis session consisted of guided exercises of muscular and psychic relaxation. The psychologist employed mental imagery and hypnotic suggestion techniques. Participants also received indications for self hypnosis after surgery to control pain, nausea, and fatigue.

Pierre Lefrançois -

According to HealthDay News .

1. Montgomery GH, Bovbjerg DH, et al . A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control side effects in breast surgery patients . J Natl Cancer Inst . 2007 Sep 5; 99 (17): 1304-12.


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