Doctors in Medical Center see the benefits of surgeries set to soundtracks

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- You might use a streaming music service while you're doing chores around the house or studying, but how would you feel if your surgeon was rocking out in the operating room during a procedure?

On any given morning at Ben Taub Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, that might just be what you find.

On this particular morning, Chief of Orthopedics Dr. Jack Dawson is operating on a fractured ankle. A big part of his routine is harmony, from his team, to the iPod docked on a Bose speaker in the room.

"You want everybody on the same page and I think music helps," said Dawson, an assistant professor of Orthopedic trauma at Baylor College of Medicine.

For this doctor, music in the operating room started when he was a resident.

"People I trained under a lot of times listend to music, as it's become easier I think it's become popular," Dawson said.

As for how the patients feel about the potential distraction the music might pose to their surgeon, Dawson said most patients are comfortable with a little extra noise in the room.

"It's almost like they expect it," he said.

Not even heavy metal is off the table, though Dawson said most patients will veto the suggestion of country during a procedure. Sometimes he'll even let patients play DJ and there are even those who give surprise performances.

"I've even had patients under sedation who have been singing along during the surgery -- the whole surgery, which is actually rather remarkable," Dawson said with a laugh.

The goal with any of the music is to keep his "office" upbeat.

"We work in a trauma hospital, we see a lot of bad stuff that comes in our door," he said.

The hope is that once surgery is wrapped, the team's mood is up and maybe, subconsciously, the patient's too.

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