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Music improves stitching prowess of plastic surgeons

IANS  |  New York 

Plastic surgeons stitch faster and better when their favourite music is on during operations, says a new study.

"Our study confirmed that listening to the surgeon's preferred music improves efficiency and quality of wound closure, which may translate to health care cost savings and better patient outcomes," said one of the study authors Andrew Zhang, assistant professor of surgery at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the US.

Stitching prowess and speed is especially important for plastic surgeons.

For the study, fifteen plastic surgery residents were asked to close incisions with layered stitches on pigs' feet obtained at a local food market. Pigs' feet are widely accepted as similar to human skin.

The residents were not informed of the purpose of the study. They were asked to do their best and to notify the researchers when they completed a closure.

The day after the first incision closing exercise, the residents were asked to do another repair using identical technique with the music either being turned on or off, in opposition to the first closure.

The average repair completion time for all residents was seven percent shorter when their preferred music was playing.

This effect was magnified as the experience of the surgeon grew. Playing their preferred music led to a 10 percent reduction of repair time for senior residents as compared to an eight percent time reduction seen in the junior residents.

The study appeared in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

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First Published: Fri, July 31 2015. 10:36 IST