A new study published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal by two researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch reveals how music can help surgeons with incision closures.
Researchers had 15 plastic surgeons operate on pigs’ feet—widely accepted as similar to human skin and used by medical students to practice incision closure—while listening and not listening to their preferred music. The surgeons were not told the purpose of the study, only that they were to perform “wound repair” operations on the feet using layered stitches. The type of stitch was specified in order to eliminate variables in the suture method used.
When wound repair times were compared, researchers found that the average completion time was seven to 10% less when music was being played—with the more-experienced surgeons seeing the larger time reductions. Researchers also had the quality of the wound repairs assessed by separate plastic surgeons who were unaware of what the purpose of the study was. The assessments showed that the quality of the procedure also improved when music was played.
Finding ways to improve the efficiency and speed of operations is important for several reasons. First, it reduces the amount of time the patient spends under anesthesia, lowering the chance of side effects. Second, it can translate into cost reductions that will be more pronounced in certain procedures—such as a “tummy tuck”—where the incision closure makes up a large portion of the operation.
The study adds to the growing body of literature suggesting that a surgeon’s comfort level can be as important to the success of a procedure as the actual technique or equipment used.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Lies, S.R. et al., “Prospective Randomized Study of the Effect of Music on the Efficiency of Surgical Closures.” Aesthetic Surgery Journal Aesthet Surg J, 2015, doi:10.1093/asj/sju161, last accessed August 3, 2015.
Paddock, C., “Wound Closure More Effective When Surgeons Listen to Their Preferred Music.” Medical News Today web site, August 3, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297568.php.