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Contact information

St-Elisabeth site - Uccle
02-614 20 00
St-Michel site - Etterbeek
02-614 30 00
Bella Vita Medical Center - Waterloo
02-614 42 00

Intervention under medical hypnosis



We asked Dr. Annie Tshibangu, anaesthetist and manager of the operating block at the St-Michel site, for more information on this subject.

On September 5, 2016 we performed the first operation under hypnosis on the St-Michel site.

What is hypnosis and what is it used for?

Dr. Tshibangu: "What is fascinating about the practice of hypnosis is that it allows the patient to mobilize resources that he or she has but does not know about. It helps him or her become an actor in his or her own care. Patients who have experienced hypnosis will have a tool that they can use in other situations according to their needs: hypnosis is a real gift that we give them! »

How has this "way of putting patients to sleep" evolved in the meantime?

Dr. Tshibangu: "From then on, there was interest in hypnotic interventions by both surgeons and patients. »

What percentage of interventions are performed under hypnosis at the Europe Hospitals?

Dr. Tshibangu : "Few interventions are done totally under hypnosis, but some of the tools of hypnosis, such as language, are used on a daily basis for any treatment. »

Is each type of intervention possible under hypnosis, or what are the criteria for its application?

Dr. Tshibangu: "Not all surgeries are likely to be performed under hypnosis. This is only possible for surface operations for which local or loco-regional anaesthesia can be considered. »                                               

Can every patient be put to sleep through hypnosis?

Dr. Tshibangu : "In principle hypnosis can be used for any motivated and collaborative patient. Hypnosis is a medium that has a very high potential, which will not totally replace general anaesthesia, but it should be increasingly considered as one of the techniques available in an anaesthetist's arsenal. »

How many doctors do hypnosis at the Europe Hospitals and who are they?

Dr. Tshibangu: "In the anaesthesia department on the St-Michel site, we have four anaesthetists trained in hypnosis: Dr. Ponchon, Dr. Powis, Dr. Rizzo and myself. It is important to know that each of us, for each patient, uses the techniques of therapeutic communication. As soon as the patient is greeted with a "hello", more than a simple benevolence, thanks to this language, the patient already gradually enters into a form of hypnosis without it being a formal trance. »

Does the use of hypnosis influence the patient's recovery and how do you see it progressing?

Dr. Tshibangu: "Evolution is a function of the interest of the patient, the surgeon and the media. A patient operated under hypnosis is a patient who does not suffer the side effects of general anaesthesia: no nausea, vomiting or migraines. He or she will not need to go through the recovery room because he or she recovers very quickly. The infusion can be withdrawn instantly and the patient can eat and drink immediately after the operation. The scientific literature also reports a better recovery. »