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Classical 101

Calm Surgeons, Patients Listen to Classical Music During Surgery

Music isn't brain surgery. Except when it is. And when it is, you want just the right tunes. In a report for the annual Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, surgeons at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales reviewed the results of several studies on music in the operating room and concluded that "the most popular" type of music to listen to during surgery was classical music, according to The Atlantic. One study indicated that listening to music described as "relaxing" was more effective than anti-anxiety drugs at easing patients' stress before surgery. Apparently the right music in the OR also has benefits for surgeons. A recent study out of Oxford suggests that playing music in the operating room during minor surgical procedures may help medical staff do their jobs better and may assist with healing, according to a report by the BBC. Researchers at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, found that playing certain types of music or listening to the radio in the operating room calmed patients who were awake and under local anesthetics during surgery, and may have helped surgical staff work together more efficiently. The research team's research report was published in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons. All of this is good news for those who go under the knife. And in case you like a little gallows humor once in a while, check out this tongue-in-cheek list of the top 10 songs for the operating room, compiled in good fun by medical staff of the University Hospital of Wales. Read More: 

  • Listening to Music Makes Surgery Less Stressful (BBC)
  • Operating Tunes: How Music helps Surgery (Atlantic)
  • Making Music in the Operating Theatre (BMJ)
  • Smooth Operator: Surgeon and Songs Are a Winning Mix, Study Finds (BBC)