Hypnotist entrances himself for surgery
Saturday 19 April 2008
By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Alex Lenkei is not the first patient to reject an anaesthetic in favour of hypnosis before undergoing surgery – but he may be the first to have hypnotised himself.
At Worthing Hospital, Sussex, the 61-year-old registered hypnotist sedated himself with techniques he has used since the age of 16. The surgery, carried out last Wednesday, involved taking a sliver of bone from the base of his right thumb and fusing the joint in a bid to improve his arthritis.
Yesterday Mr Lenkei said: "It went amazingly well. It took between 30 seconds to a minute for me to place myself under hypnosis and I felt a very deep relaxation. At one stage a hammer and chisel was used as well as a surgical saw, but I felt no pain. I was aware of everything."
His surgeon, David Llew-ellyn-Clark, said he was happy with the result. "Some people are very anxious about anaesthetic so I am always looking for alternatives. I was confident Mr Lenkei is a skilled hypnotist and I am delighted."
Studies suggest that not using standard anaesthetics can speed recovery and cut time spent in hospital.
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