Music in the Operating Room

operating room
Photo of me and my father in the operating room.

I think most patients would be surprised to know that their surgeons listen to music in the operating room. While the operating room is a place for seriousness and focus, some may think music detracts from that singular focus we hope our surgeons have.


However, you should consider music to be a supporting character in the operating room. Depending on the surgeon’s taste, music can be soothing or frenetic to help with the pace of the operation. Certain genres may be more appropriate for different stages of the operation.


For example, the initial incision, performed with caution and precision goes well with classical music, much like a fine wine. While the closing of the incision at the end of surgery can be representative of and accompanied by heavy metal. Maybe your surgeon prefers hip hop.


There’s also the practical aspects to consider. There are several other staff members in the operating room. The anesthesiologist, the scrub tech and the nurse. They have varying taste in music so the surgeon shouldn’t be selfish and only consider his/her musical preferences.


For all of these reasons, partially due to a family atmosphere of trying to be inclusive, or just because of my eclectic taste in music, you will hear Johnny Cash, Akon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Toby Keith, Jimi Hendrix or the LSU fight song. With that kind of variety, at least one person in the operating room will enjoy a song, while the others hate it! But by the next song, those who enjoy and those who hate are certain to change!


Click here to watch our video library of surgical procedures and listen closely…you’ll hear what we hear during surgery!



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