Hypnosis as an effective and inexpensive option to control pain in transcatheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias

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Abstract

Supportive care for pain relief and back discomfort during electrophysiology interventions is usually needed in the electrophysiology lab, especially in long-lasting procedures like atrial fibrillation ablation. Although this is usually achieved with conventional pharmacologic anesthesia, hypnosis has recently aroused interest as a reliable tool to complement and possibly enhance conscious sedation. We collected five case of percutaneous arrhythmia ablation in which, after informed consent, hypnosis was performed by nurse anesthetists in the cath lab. In each case at the end of the intervention, the patients described complete alterations of perception or memory of the pain or of the length of the study. No anesthetic drug was needed. While waiting for more robust data, we suggest hypnosis could be a reliable, inexpensive and well tolerated tool to obtain complete pain control and comfort during arrhythmia ablation.

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