Hypnosis 'eases cancer op pain'

Breast cancer patients need less anaesthetic during operations if they have been relaxed by hypnosis beforehand, US research suggests.

Patients in the study of 200 women by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine also reported less pain afterwards.

Breast cancer surgery patients often suffer severe side-effects such as pain, nausea and fatigue during and after their operations. UK experts said more research was needed to prove hypnosis worked.

The side-effects from breast cancer surgery can sometimes mean a longer stay in hospital, extra drugs, or even a return to a hospital ward when patients should be recovering at home.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute paper is just the latest to conclude hypnosis can help with operations.

Dr Guy Montgomery, who led the research, recruited 200 women to receive either 15 minutes of hypnosis or just a conversation with a psychologist before their surgery.

The women undergoing hypnosis were given suggestions for relaxation and pleasant mental images, and instructions on how to use hypnosis themselves.

Patients who had received hypnosis needed less anaesthetic than the others, and reported less pain, nausea, fatigue and emotional distress after the operation.

Source - BBC

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