Hospital Activities

Beirut, Lebanon: The first diagnostic hysteroscopy under hypnosis in Lebanon, was successfully realized at Bellevue Medical Center, in line with the goal to advance patient care through innovative approaches in pain management and person-centered care.

Hypnosis is defined as “a waking state of awareness or consciousness, in which a person’s attention is redirected from the immediate environment to inner experience such as feelings, cognition and imagery”. Hypnotic induction involves focusing someone’s attention until what is imagined feels real.Through the use and acceptance of suggestions, the hypnotherapist and the patient construct a hypnotic reality.

It is reported that hypnosis during surgical procedures can significantly improve the patient’s tolerance to pain (Kendrick et al.,2017) .  It does also protect from the effects of stress experienced prior to the procedure. More generally, there is enough evidence of its benefits on emotional distress, pain, medication intake, physiological parameters, as well as duration of procedure and outcome.

Hypnotic analgesia seems to be most effective in minor surgical procedures such as cold pressor test, bone marrow aspiration or hysteroscopy. Research indicates that interventions with more than one hypnosis session, were most effective when started before the day of the procedure.

“Prior to the procedure, the patient meets with the anesthesiologist and the hypnotherapist to determine eligibility. If eligible, hypnosis is initiated in a calm environment 15 minutes before the procedure, with both the anesthesiologist and hypnotherapist present throughout the procedure,” explained Dr Joseph Ghanime, who performed the hysteroscopy.

The first diagnostic hysteroscopy under hypnosis at BMC was conducted on a thirty-nine year old lady. Hypnosis was the only form of pain management used, with no traditional anesthesia. In describing her experience, the patient said:  “Although I was hearing everything happening around me, I felt like being in other places such as beach or other natural surroundings.  The hypnotherapist’s voice guided me through this rewarding experience”

“Our expertise and focus on innovative approaches to pain management, including hypnotherapy, are making a difference in the lives of our patients. At Bellevue Medical Center, we are committed to compassionate and person-centered care delivered in a safe, healing, and state-of-the art facility” says Professor Ghassan Maalouf, Medical Director and Vice-President for Medical Affairs. Bellevue provides tertiary patient care that spans several departments and specialties. Accredited by the Joint Commission International for quality and patient safety, BMC is the first hospital in Lebanon to be awarded the Planetree Organization Gold Seal certification for excellence in person-centered care.