April 6, 2016


Here's What Surgeons Listen to While Operating On You

AMV Photo via Getty Images
AMV Photo via Getty Images

Follow us as we paint you a word picture: You're lying on an operating table, about to go under for god knows what (let's say you're having your tonsils removed, that seems harmless enough). You begin to fade with the anesthesia. You wake up hours later, unknowing that much time has passed. Maybe you had a cool weird surgery dream. Either way, you're outta there, healthy, groggy and wondering: What the hell happened when you were under? And more importantly, what was everyone listening to?

When asked about the benefit of playing music in the operating room, David Bosanquet, a surgeon-in-training at the University Hospital of Wales, told the British Medical Journal, "For the awake patients, I think the evidence is relatively clear. It’s fantastically beneficial." Podcasts and other spoken-word recordings don't seem to work because they're too distracting. The perfect solution? Top 40 radio! Surgeons love to blast stuff that's familiar to them, the other physicians in the room and the patient. 

Bosanquet also mentioned that the consulting surgeon is usually the one with the aux chord, but that changes. Quartz reported on a few other surgeons and their working playlist here:

"Alan Youn, a plastic surgeon in Detroit, told CNN he listens to Lady Gaga in most operations except for facelifts. STAT News wrote that during a 16-hour surgery for a patient with metastasized appendix cancer, the playlist swung from The Black Eyed Peas to The Beatles to Adele. And David Levine, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, told Vice that classic rock and roll—or anything with an upbeat tempo—is good for 'closing music' as surgeons suture up the patient at the end of an operation."

Interesting stuff, right? Read more here. Then take this quiz: Is this a K-Pop group or science term?