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March 28, 1986


Author Affiliations

Tyler, Tex

JAMA. 1986;255(12):1565. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370120039005

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One of my greater pleasures as a urologist is to converse with patients during operative procedures. Since many urologic procedures are performed under local or regional anesthesia, this opportunity comes often. I know that the anesthesiologist has in his arsenal a broad variety of sedatives to allay the anxiety inevitable with surgery, but an anesthesiologist is not always in attendance during procedures done under local anesthesia; even when there is an anesthesiologist in attendance, I inform him that I prefer to sedate my patients with my stories and resort to pharmaceuticals only when I do not get the anticipated relaxation. I have observed that the stress of a surgical procedure, however minor, and the unique relationship between surgeon and patient provide an environment for conversation that brings out emotions and philosophies heretofore suppressed by inhibitions. I know a patient better after half an hour in the operating room than after