Combining hypnosis along with local anaesthesia (LA) for certain types of surgery can aid the healing process and reduce drug use and hospital stay.
In addition, researchers from Cliniques Universitaires, Belgium, also found that the combination could also help in avoiding cancer recurrence and metastases.
"In addition to reducing drug use and hospital stay time, being able to avoid general anaesthesia in breast cancer surgery is important because we know that local anaesthesia can block the body's stress response to surgery and could therefore reduce the possible spread of metastases," Prof Fabienne Roelants from the Department of Anaesthesiology at the Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc, UCL, Brussels, Belgium, said.
The researchers tested the combination on patients undergoing different types of breast cancer surgeries and thyroidectomy (removal of all or part of the thyroid gland).
It was found that though the patients who were hypnotised spent a few minutes more in the operating theatre, their opioid drug use reduced significantly, as was the recovery time and hospital stay.
The results were similar in the thyroid study, wherein the researchers compared 18 patients in the LA/hypnosis group with 36 who had been given general anaesthesia.
It was found that the drug use, recovery room and hospital stay time were greatly reduced among the LA/hypnosis group.
The study will be presented at the European Anaesthesiology Congress in Amsterdam.