Cataract Surgery and Hypnosis

This week I had my left eye’s cataract removed and a lens best for distance vision implanted by Alan Dixon, MD at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC.  He prepared me well, including a video of the procedure which I watched in trance, and was comfortable with my using self-hypnosis instead of the usual sedation meds.  Folks at the hospital were a little surprised and startled as I went along  the prep path to the operating room.  In my one day follow-up visit I had none of the minor discomforts folks often have, and Dr Dixon said I did about like most of those who used the meds.  I did learn to expect pressure in the area toward the end of the procedure, so I expect to do even better for the other eye in January.

I used self-hypnosis for the same reasons I’ve used it for colonoscopies: not to lose the day to sedation, to show myself and others, medical and non-medical, the kind of self-regulation people can manage through hypnosis, and as a teaching/demonstration tool for anyone interested.  Folks who want to learn these skills usually feel proud and empowered at making manageable the anxieties and tension normally encountered in these out-patient procedures, and to prepare psychologically for any kind of surgery.

The research literature shows clearly that healing after surgery is often easier and quicker with hypnotic  preparation.   I’ve particularly enjoyed helping many expectant mothers use hypnosis to make normal labor and delivery much more comfortable, without subjecting mother or baby to the effects of sedation and anesthesia.

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