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I can only find upsides of hypnosurgery on its Wikipedia page:

  • fewer side effects
  • patients can leave the hospital sooner
  • reduction in blood loss
  • post-operative nausea
  • etc.

What are the downsides of hypnosurgery (vs. using traditional anaesthetics)?

1
  • Hypnosis can reduce blood loss? I'm skeptical.
    – Carey Gregory
    Aug 22 '16 at 20:04
3

Tefikow, S., J. Barth, S. Maichrowitz, A. Beelmann, B. Strauss, and J. Rosendahl. "Efficacy of Hypnosis in Adults Undergoing Surgery or Medical Procedures: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." Clinical Psychology Review 33.5 (2013): 623-36. Web.

Here's a peer reviewed meta analysis that also found hypnosis to be beneficial during surgery when compared with standard care.

However, most of the studies they cite aren't very large and there definitely needs to be more study in this area before any conclusions can be drawn; positive or negative. Some logistical downsides I can think of would be:

  1. Different methods of hypnosis being used can complicate studies
  2. Surgeons not being willing to perform surgery without anesthetics
  3. (To my knowledge) Hypnotists are not regulated or required to comply with any standards of practice
  4. If a patient is not fully sedated under anesthesia the dosage can be altered to achieve the appropriate degree of sedation, this cannot be done as objectively with hypnosis
  5. The use of anesthetics in the general population is better studied and documented than hypnosis, therefore surgical guidelines will favor anesthesia

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