SOURCE: Bridge Publications, Inc.

October 24, 2006 18:02 ET

Surgery Patients Risk Emotional Scars, Too

Memories Recorded While "Unconscious" Can Have Disastrous Results

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 24, 2006 -- In addition to waking up with a new nose, or a repaired spinal disk, patients can awake with an irrational fear, depression or other emotional scars.

Despite the use of general anesthesia, information is still recorded in the mind even when patients are unconscious, and what is said near someone who has been "knocked out" can have a disastrous effect on their life.

A comprehensive analysis of the data from 2,517 patients in 44 studies concluded that information is remembered following surgery and one study in particular showed that patients can even respond to verbal commands while unconscious.

Words spoken around those who are not fully aware as a result of anesthesia are stored, but not analyzed, and can have a hypnotic command-like effect on the individual according to L. Ron Hubbard whose "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" has sold 20 million copies worldwide.

Anesthesiologist, Ralf Blackstone, M.D., a long-time proponent of the theories in "Dianetics," cautions that conversation should be avoided around anesthetized persons. "While good care must be provided, it is not the time to criticize your colleagues or bemoan your difficult marriage."

Moments of pain and unconsciousness can be recovered and their memories brought under the analytical control of the individual using Dianetics techniques.

"Finding out what happened when I was knocked out was a real shock," says James Tudor, who had an operation to repair a hernia in 2001. "Even though I am only 24, I had an irrational feeling that I was getting old and losing my vigor after the surgery and didn't know why." When Mr. Tudor addressed the incident with Dianetics counseling he was surprised to discover that the nurse had teased the surgeon saying, "You are losing your touch -- You're getting old" during the operation. "I also had post-surgical anxiety, that was explained by other comments made by the operating room staff while I was unconscious."

"The feelings were relieved after I understood the source of them and they were no longer hidden from view, but I would hate to think how my life would have been affected if I hadn't found out," says Mr. Tudor.

Dr. Blackstone founded a non-profit group called Silent Surgery Education and Advisement to advocate for patients and to educate the surgical community about the benefits of maintaining a quiet operating room environment.

"The rights of the unconscious must be protected, and surgeons can take steps to safeguard their patient's emotional well-being by avoiding any unnecessary talk during surgeries," says Dr. Blackstone.

For more information on Dianetics, visit

Contact Information

    Danielle Methvin
    Email Contact