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New research suggests that a holistic technique may ease the toll surgery takes on oncological patients. Doctors in Amsterdam found that a combination of local anesthesia and hypnosis may limit post-surgery time spent in the hospital, along with aiding in the healing process and reducing the need to use medications while recovering.
The study also found this combination may help avoid the recurrence and spreading of cancer. Eighteen out of 78 women who received surgery for breast cancer were put under hypnosis and local anesthesia. The participants spent less time in the hospital after their operation and used fewer opiates during recovery.
"We believe that our studies have shown considerable benefits for the LA/hypnosis combination, and that such benefits are not only for patients, but also for healthcare systems. By using hypnosis combined with local anesthesia we can reduce the costs involved in longer hospital stays, remove the need for patients to use opioid drugs, and increase their overall comfort and satisfaction levels," said Christine Watremez, M.D., a lead researcher on the study.
The experts noted that these findings are important for breast cancer patients, since local anesthesia can block the body's stress response while in surgery, possibly reducing the risk of the cancer metastasizing.