Hypnotic Sedation for Knee Reconstruction Surgery

    On the whole, a very good experience, easier than I expected and feared – I’m home the day after the operation @ Duke Hospital.  Though the anesthesiologist was understandably unfamiliar and not fully comfortable with patients using hypnosis for sedation, my surgeon, Samuel Wellman, MD was accepting of what I wanted to do, though he thought the electric saw and other sounds might be distressing.  I wasn’t fully convinced myself that hypnotic sedation was a good idea for this long operation until I realised in preparatory trances that, of course, I wasn’t comfortable beforehand discussing the operation with him because my conscious ideas and imaginings  were distorted by greatlyly exaggerated Scare.  And that’s why I wanted to use trance, because while in trance I was comfortable and confidant about my several previous experiences using trance for sedation and to minimize strong anxiety about medical procedures – arthoscopic  elbow tendon repair, several colonoscopies, and two recent cataract repairs.
   In trances for the 2 weeks before the operation I suggested very deep relaxation,  focus on absorption in my inner experience, and immobility during the procedure, as well as reducing my moderate anxiety, and expecting relatively rapid healing &  physical comfort.  I was pleased my sciatica didn’t prevent having a nerve block, not general anesthesia, so my mind was clear immediately afterward, and my mood was relieved & high – hungry, jabbery & somewhat entertaining, I’m told.  Hypnotic sedation worked so well I kept wondering whether and when my operation had begun or would begin, and was unaware that they manipulated my leg a lot.  Power saw & chisel sounds I was prepared for by watching in trance a YouTube video of a total knee reconstruction, so they were no bother.  We started about 90 minutes later than expected, & I’d prepareded just for a 1 & 1/2 hour procedure, so I was a bit restless internally the last 20 minutes, but not noticeably to the medical team.  Not un-expectedly, my noise suppressing headphones & Smart Phone-loaded cello music sterile and couldn’t go into the operating room.
I was sent home yesterday afternoon w/ a 2 day nerve block – this type’s fairly new for knees, & reduces pain for a while.  The PT  exercises are pretty uncomfortable as expected, damn near intolerable, and my first out-patient PT appointment is next Wednesday —  farther away than I’d hoped & 10 days sooner than the first available appointment thru their central scheduling, which couldn’t respond to my intended rapid rehab through PT, so I called Duke Sports Med directly,  and they understood the need.  I think most folks use narcotics those first weeks at home, so a quick start of PT  may not matter for them.
I have a basic Walker/ 2 wheels , no seat, ​ and will get a cane for transition to walking w/o aids in a few weeks –  2 or 3?.​   A machine circulating ice water around my knee helps reduce inflammation​ and swelling – they really offer the latest in support for recovery.  The staff was unusually well chosen, competent & supportive.  I can drive when off walking aids, & off narcotics, which I’ll will start if necessary, when the nerve block runs out.
Not yet know-able when I can drive to work.  I’ll just enjoy my stay-cation & do the damn PT exercises – they leave me kinda’ wrung-out.  Dr Bob



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