So you’re an athlete or a fitness buff and you’ve pushed your body through one too many triathlons. Now you need knee surgery – or shoulders or toes or head surgery as the case may be. Of course you’d get that done in a hospital with a good dose of anesthesia so you may feel no pain. But wait. There’s news. You may not need that anesthesia after all. It turns out surgeons in Europe are looking for ways to perform surgery without knocking out the patients. With just a little something to numb the surgery site you can be awake and watching DVDs.
News from the world of medicine says a riveting DVD or two could potentially displace the traditional, general anesthetic during some surgical procedures. In Glasgow, Scotland, Dr. Nick Pace has been using the DVD as anesthetic for about 18 months. In his quest for alternatives to anesthetics, Dr. Pace tried music but patients were soon bored and in their boredom focused on the pain to the point that he wound up giving them the general anesthetic anyway. Upon learning that mothers use DVDs to distract their children during car trips, he soon erected a contraption to play DVDs in the operating room. (Could be that mothers are the necessity for invention.)
So far about half of Dr. Pace’s patients are choosing to go with the DVD rather than the general. Recovery time is faster. Of course knee surgery with the sawing and grinding sounds can be unnerving for some patients and they would prefer to sleep through it. But for others, a screen is installed so they can’t see the actual surgery. Dr Pace has noted that “Blue Planet” is among the most frequently selected DVD from his library. But Scotsmen seem to really, really like to watch, “The Guide to Successful Pole Fishing.” Who would have thought? Then there are those jokes about slipped discs during back surgeries.
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