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For the hypnosis sedation to work, patients had to meet with a hypnotist a few weeks before the surgery and practice getting into a "trance" state.
Researchers explained the stupor-based surgery to 48 patients.
Though there's been little science to back up hypnotherapy, the authors conclude that their small study's success suggests hypnosis could be a viable tool to help sedate patients during delicate brain surgery.
Such surgeries are particularly tricky because they often require a patient to be awake to respond to questions or perform certain mental tasks, the authors note.
Surgeons use those responses and interactions to help avoid damaging critical brain areas as they carefully extract tumors.
Typically, anesthesiologists put patients to sleep for the start of such a surgery—while the skull is opened—rouse them in the middle, then put them back to sleep for the surgical wrap-up.
In all, the researchers conducted 43 surgeries with patients under hypnosis.
The technique, which replaces general anesthetics, was used on 37 patients undergoing surgery to remove brain tumors, researchers report in the journal .
Distractions, loss of focus and lack of motivation are the major reasons why people don’t reach the goals they set for themselves.