Published on April 20, 2008 at 5:21 AM
A hypnotist in Britain has had surgery on his right hand without a general anaesthetic.
Hypnotist Alex Lenkei, age 61, from Worthing in West Sussex, decided to sedate himself by hypnosis rather than have an anesthetic before undergoing the 83-minute operation.
The operation which was carried out at Worthing Hospital involved removing some bone, about the size of a walnut, from the base of the thumb and fusing some joints in order to improve Mr. Lenkei's arthritis and give him more mobility in his hand.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon David Llewellyn-Clark agreed to the unusual sedation on Mr Lenkei, a registered hypnotist who has been practising since the age of 16.
Even though at one stage a hammer and chisel was used as well as a surgical saw, Mr. Lenkei says he was fully aware of everything going on during the procedure and felt no pain.
The hypnosis process took between 30 seconds to a minute and Mr. Lenkei says he then felt very deeply relaxed.
An anaesthetist remained on standby throughout the operation to administer an anaesthetic if necessary.
The anesthetist Dr. Richard Venn, believes Lenkei managed by way of the hypnosis to get his own body to release large amounts of pain-killing chemicals that prevented him from feeling pain during the procedure.
Dr. Venn says Lenkei's heart, blood pressure and breathing rate remained constant throughout the whole operation which is an indication that he felt no pain.
Lenkei who says he felt wonderful is now recovering at home.
Some research has indicated that recovery speed might be shorter if standard anesthetics are not used.