In a room in the Charles-Nicolle Outpatient Surgery Department, Philippe Weber puts on his navy blue patient gown. Philippe has come from the Paris region for varicose vein surgery. “In both legs,” he clarifies immediately, “which would not have been possible if the procedure wasn’t performed under hypnosis.” Yes, he did say hypnosis. Unlike stage hypnosis, medical hypnosis is a natural state of consciousness that makes it possible to perform certain surgical procedures without using general anesthetic. Local anesthetic and mild sedation are combined with hypnosis, performed by a trained nurse or anesthesiologist.
The patient arrives upright, ready for surgery
“They told me about this hypnosis procedure right from the outset,” Philippe explains. “I didn’t see the connection at first!” he adds, smiling. “But I quickly agreed. When I’m in the hands of the medical professionals, I’m asleep.” Clearly highly receptive to hypnosis, Philippe is prepared a few minutes before the procedure by nurse anesthetist Agnès Jennat, who will be monitoring him throughout the surgery. Led by anesthesiologist Delphine Provost, hypnosis started to be used in operating rooms at Rouen University Hospital in 2015.
The surgeon estimates that, since 2017, of the 150 patients operated on for varicose veins in the Vascular Surgery Department headed up by Dr. Didier Plissonnier, 18% have been hypnosedated. This number is constantly rising, and the surgeon will be presenting the technique at the Journée de lutte contre la douleur training day on pain management this June 5 at Rouen University Hospital.
Once the surgery is over, Agnès stays with the patient for a while. “When I ask them if they had a good time, they smile. There’s my answer.”
Hypnosis has been used in the sleep unit for over 15 years. Medical teams report that hypnosis “calms” in rheumatology and that it “relieves” in addiction treatment and digestive, urinary, and respiratory physiology. It “soothes” during pulmonary bronchoscopy.
A multiprofessional team uses hypnosis in the recovery room. It is also used in the operating room, for adults and children alike, as well as in outpatient surgery (cataract surgery, ear surgery, and implantable ports). And now, it is being applied to varicose vein surgery.
Preparing for the procedure
For the past two years, Rouen University Hospital has been offering a special consultation for all patients who feel particularly anxious about the idea of surgery or a hospital stay.
Psychologists, midwives, doctors, anesthesiologists, addiction specialists, nurses, and nursing assistants working in the hospital wing dedicated to women, mothers, and children have been trained in hypnosis to soothe patients, regardless of their age.
Published on 05/29/2018 on ParisNormandie.fr and written by Patricia Buffet
Full article: www.paris-normandie.fr/rouen/au-chu-de-rouen-l-hypnose