Prepare for Surgery with Hypnosis

Undergoing surgery of any kind can quite naturally provoke a great deal of anxiety. Any unfamiliar situation can cause anxiety but of course you might also be worried about things like the outcome of the operation, a lack of control, how you’ll feel afterwards or what the recovery might be like. These emotions can be very distressing and at their extreme can even lead to patients cancelling or avoiding necessary medical or dental procedures.

Hypnotherapy can provide important support for both your preparation for the operation and your recovery from it. Hypnotherapy is a completely natural, effective and proven way to reduce anticipatory fears and help you develop a calmer more positive state of mind. Being more relaxed, calm and positive going into the surgery also helps the surgery to go well and improves your rate of recovery. Hypnotherapy is also an excellent way to help to reduce your experience of pain and manage your pain-related symptoms. Research shows* that patients that have hypnotherapy to prepare for surgery can experience the following benefits:

  • Reduce fear, anxiety and tension before surgery
  • Experience less pain during and after surgery
  • Require less pain medication after surgery
  • Experience less nausea and vomiting post-anaesthetic
  • Feel less tired afterwards
  • Have shorter hospital stays due to faster healing and fewer complications

I would normally recommend you begin your hypnotherapy for surgery preparation at least a month before your operation, although we can work over shorter timescales if necessary. In assisting you, I bring together over two decades of experience, including specialised training in pain management and hypnotic analgesia, with established and effective techniques from, for example, stress management, hypnotherapy, meditation, neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and psychotherapy. These combine to form a powerful set of tools to help you feel calm and confident about your upcoming surgery and to trust your surgeons and your own ability to heal successfully.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to book an initial consultation, please get in touch and we can discuss how  I can help you.

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*Some research on hypnosis and preparation for surgery

  • Montgomery, G.H., Bovbjerg, D.H., Schnur, J.B., David, D., Goldfarb, A. & Weltz, C. 2007. A randomized clinical trial of a brief hypnosis intervention to control side effects in breast surgery patients. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 99: 1304-12.
  • Lang, E. & Joyce, J. 1996. Self-hypnotic relaxation during interventional radiological procedures: effects on pain perception and intravenous drug use. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Hypn. 44: 106-19.
  • Butler, L.D., Symons, B.K., Henderson, S.L., Shortliffe, L.D. & Spiegel, D. 2005. Hypnosis reduces distress and duration of an invasive medical procedure for children. Pediatrics 115: 77-85.
  • Lang, E.V., Berbaum, K.S., Faintuch, S., Hatsiopoulou, O., Halsey, N. & Li, X. 2006. Adjunctive self-hypnotic relaxation for outpatient medical procedures: a prospective randomized trial with women undergoing large core breast biopsy. Pain 126: 155-64.
  • Spiegel, D., Bierre, P. & Rootenberg, J. 1989. Hypnotic alteration of somatosensory perception. Am. J. Psychiatry 146: 749-54.
  • Rainville, P., Carrier, B., Hofbauer, R.K., Bushnell, M.C. & Duncan, G.H. 1999. Dissociation of sensory and affective dimensions of pain using hypnotic modulation. Pain 82: 159-71.
  • McGlashan, T.H., Evans, F.J. & Orne, M.T. 1969. The nature of hypnotic analgesia and placebo response to experimental pain. Psychosom. Med. 31: 227-46.

Mark Witter

Mark Witter MA DHP PhD

A highly qualified and experienced hypno-psychotherapist, creating a safe, compassionate and professional environment to confidentially support your healing and personal development.

Find out more about Mark