Common anxiety that precedes surgery can increase stress hormone levels in the body and affect a patient’s recovery.
This nervousness is often treated with benzodiazepines, such as midazolam, molecules that work well but still have their share ofside effects, especially on breathing.
Having learned of studies that tested music as a relaxing approach preoperatively, researchers set out to directly compare this method to taking midazolam intravenously, in a study published in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine. The goal being to know if the music was really a reliable alternative before regional or local anesthesia with peripheral nerve blockade, a type of anesthesia performed under ultrasound control and designed to numb a very specific area of the body.
The team randomly assigned 157 adults to either receive 1 to 2 mg of midazolam 3 minutes before anesthesia, or listen to the song.Weightless by the artist Marconi Union, using a helmet, this title being considered one of the most relaxing songs in the world. Participants’ anxiety levels were reported using a specific measurement scale, before and after each relaxation method.
Verdict: changes in preoperative anxiety levels were similar in the two groups, although patients in the “music” group expressed less satisfaction, possibly due to not being able to choose the music played. The doctors supervising the participants expressed the same level of satisfaction regardless of the appeasement method used.
Also, if further studies will need to be carried out to confirm this with certainty, it seems that music is an effective method of appeasement before a surgical operation. While waiting for this method to become more popular in operating theaters, nothing prevents you from trying on your side a few minutes to a few hours before surgery, especially if you are very anxious by nature.