Is Anyone Listening?

At the Guyette Facial & Oral Surgery Center, with offices in Scottsdale and Avondale, IV sedation, in conjunction with local anesthetic, is used in many of our surgical procedures. Surgeries such as All On 4 (Teeth In A Day), dental implants, removal of wisdom teeth and facial cosmetic surgery, including facelifts, rhinoplasty, and blepharoplasty. The combination of IV sedation and local anesthetic provides a very safe and comfortable environment for patients to undergo these types of procedures. In order to enhance the patient experience and help create a relaxing environment, we normally have light music playing in the surgical suite to help patients relax.

Recently, in a publication of American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Michael Gellis, M.D., from Novi, Michigan, addressed the patient awareness of their surroundings while under IV sedation. Some patients may remember some of the things said by the surgeon and staff during the procedure. Dr. Gellis wondered if those patients who do remember the conversation during their surgery would have a negative reaction to hearing the doctor and staff speaking during the procedure. Dr. Gellis reported on a study that evaluated patient’s responses to ambient sounds and conversations in an operating room and whether or not this has a positive or negative effect for the patient.

The survey was given to 200 patients upon discharge from an outpatient clinic. Patients were asked questions such as “Was music playing during your surgery and id it help you to relax?”; 65.3% of the patients responded with a yes and 20% responded that they could not remember and “Would silence have been better for you?”, of which 86% responded no. In answer to the question “Did the surgeon talk to you during the surgery?”, 81.6% responded with a yes and 75% of those said they felt the conversation helped them to relax. When patients were asked if side conversations and chatter among the staff and the doctor made them feel like they did not receive appropriate care, 85.7% of the patients said no and not one patient responded yes to that question.

I want our patients to know that when they have surgery at the Guyette Facial & Oral Surgery Center, we will take the utmost care in providing you with the safest and most comfortable environment possible. We will ask you if you would like to have music playing while in the operating area and we will try to choose the type of music that will be most soothing to you. Some patients will hear me speak to them during surgery, but the conversation among the staff and doctor will be kept to a minimum and will be focused on your treatment. If you have questions about your surgery and what you can expect from me and our staff, please feel free to ask those questions before you proceed.