A new study suggests that listening to music before, during and after surgery could reduce pain and anxiety.
A Brunel University and Queen Mary University of London research team analysed 72 trials involving nearly 7000 patients and found that patients were significantly less anxious after surgery and reported significantly more satisfaction after listening to music.
The patients also needed less pain medication and reported significantly less pain compared with controls.
In addition, when patients selected their own music there was a slightly greater reduction in pain and use of pain relief.
However, music did not reduce the length of hospital stay.
Lead author Catherine Meads of the Brunel University said that over 51 million operations were performed every year in the USA and around 4.6 million in England, adding that music was a non-invasive, safe, cheap intervention that should be available to everyone undergoing surgery.
Meads said patients should be allowed to choose the type of music they would like to hear to maximise the benefit to their wellbeing.
The study is published in the journal Lancet.