Hypnosurgery is the term given to an operation where the patient is sedated using hypnotherapy rather than traditional anaesthetics. It is still in its experimental stages, and not often used. During hypnosurgery , the hypnotist helps the patient control their subconscious reflexes so that they do not feel pain in the traditional sense. Patients are aware of sensation as the operation progresses and often describe a tingling or tickling sensation when pain would normally be expected.
What is more frequently used is hypnosedation, a combination regimen of hypnosis, local injection of analgesics and mild sedation. . The patients -mostly aged or other persons that run an increased risk under general anesthesia - are mildly sedated and brought in a state of increased alertness by having them listen to a story in the operation theatre. Anesthesiologists at the University of Liège in Belgium have performed over 4800 surgical interventions, mainly in ENT and thyroid treatments, over the past 10 years