Music Increases Effect of Anesthesia

From a study by Suleyman Ganidagli, MD, Mustafa Cengiz, MD, Medaim Yanik, MD, Cevdet Becerik, MD, and Bahriye Unal, MD:

We assessed the effect of music on the level of sedation and the electroencephalograph bispectral index (BIS) during the preoperative period. Fifty-four ASA physical status I-II patients, scheduled for elective septo-rhinoplastic surgery, were included in the study. Subjects were assigned to receive either music (music group; n = 28) or no music (control group; n = 26) during the preoperative period. Sedative premedication was provided with midazolam 0.08 mg/kg IM. Observer’s Assessment of Alertness/Sedation Scales (OAAS) scores and BIS values were recorded at specific time intervals. In the control group, there were more patients with an OAAS score of 1 than in the music group at 30 min after midazolam injection. In addition, there were more patients with an OAAS score of 2 in the control group than in the music group at 30-50 min. However, there were significantly more patients with an OAAS score of 3 in the music group than in the control group at 20-50 min. BIS values of the music group were also smaller than the control group at 30 and 40 min. BIS values were significantly decreased from baseline values at 10-50 min in the music group, whereas BIS values decreased at 30-50 min in the control group. In conclusion, listening to music during midazolam premedication is associated with an increase in sedation level in the preoperative period as reflected by a lower BIS value [emphasis added].

Renaissance-style Madonna in red dress, hands steepled, with sleeping infant Jesus on her lap, flanked by two cherubs playing small-scale lutes and green cloth hanging on a line. A bird is perched on top of the green cloth to the Madonna's left.

Madonna and Child
Alvise Vivarini

In other words, listening to music makes the anesthesia more effective, which means that patients don’t require as much anesthesia. Given the dangers of anesthesia, it would seem to make sense that listening to classical music, which decreases stress, would mean that with less anesthesia, your surgical procedures will be safer.
So load up that music player with classical music before your surgery. Don’t forget to turn it back on afterwards!

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