Brain Surgery Using Hypnosis

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I’m here today with a short and sweet link about the first Brain Surgery to incorporate hypnosis. From what I gleaned from this study, it was a deep brain surgery using only hypnosis and no other anesthetics to control the patient’s pain.  This is something we’ve never seen before.

Brain Surgery and Hypnosis?

Earlier this year, a 73-year-old man with trembling hands had surgery performed on him.  At Jena Univerity Hospital in the German state of Thuringia, they are experimenting with using brain surgery and hypnosis to treat those suffering from tremors due to tumors.

During the procedure, the doctor electrically stimulates the regions of the brain responsible for the tremor. This, in turn, suppressed the tumor so that the patient could use his hands again without experiencing tremors.  To do this they implanted fine electrodes directly into the brain.  The doctor referred to them as “brain pacemakers”.

The patient has since reported that he is very satisfied with the results of the six-hour operation.  He had been suffering from the tremors for a while.  Nothing else had worked, including medication.

What does this mean?

Doctors normally perform these surgeries using Anesthesia. So let’s look at how not using anesthesia positively affected this scenario in particular.

In this particular surgery, the patients are woken up afterward to ensure that the electrodes are correctly placed and that the tumor is suppressed. But sedatives are a huge problem in this scenario. The sedative effects of anesthesia can lead to distorted results.  The article inferred that the anesthesia made it harder to determine whether the tumor was suppressed.

Better yet, under hypnosis, there are no side effects.  This is an enormous advantage when checking whether or not the activation of the electrodes were successful.  The patient was under hypnotic suggestion by Dr. Reichart for the entire procedure.

Dr Prell said: “This procedure allows a so-far unprecedented check on the effect of the deep brain stimulation and thus a clearly better and targeted electrode installation than in the usual procedures under narcosis.”

Just like this procedure, there are many, that could benefit.  Imagine a subject that doesn’t respond well to anesthesia.  Or what about a patient already dealing with chronic pain.  There are simply so many possibilities for surgical assistance with hypnosis.

The only problem the Dr. foresees in using hypnosis is that some patients are harder to hypnotize than others.