NHS Drug Free Hernia Operation (Only Hypnosis) – Big Thanks.

by Dave Sabat on December 19, 2012

Yesterday (18th December 2012) a para-umbilical hernia repair was carried out at Watford General Hospital as part of the normal NHS routine. The thing that made this different was that it was me being operated on and I didn’t have any drugs. No general or local anaesthetic. The only pain medication was my mind because I used self-hypnosis.

I want to say now a massive thanks to my GP, the consultant & his team and all the NHS staff at Watford General Hospital for their help and care. It took a while to get the i’s dotted and t’s crossed but once we got in there it went fantastically well. Many of the staff said it was amazing and within seconds of the procedure being completed I was talking with the staff about who lost the sweepstake, who thought it wouldn’t happen? Some didn’t think it would be possible, some did.

Again, massive thanks to the staff involved, particularly those in theatre, who acted like seasoned pros even though this was the first time this had been done, using hypnosis only, for all of us!

I’ll write more fully about this over the next few days but big thanks and big love to all who made this possible.

Be happy,


p.s. Even though I write this less than 36 hours after having the op, I’ve been round the shops for a walk, eaten normally, had no pain killers and feel good.

Pain management Hypnosis

Dave Sabat
My name's Dave Sabat DCH DHP SQHP and I am a full-time Clinical Hypnotherapist. Be happy, it's easier than you think.
Barry Pierce February 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm

We could save the NHS a fortune if we could get hypnosis as a standard practice. Well done.

Jon Rhodes January 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Wow well done, that took some bravery! But I’m not surprised you’ve recovered quicker than normal, the effects of anesthetic can often take longer to recover from than the operation itself. This shows that hypnotherapy should be offered as an alternative.

Dave Sabat Dave Sabat January 30, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hi Jon.

Hypnotherapy could be offered as an alternative of course, and hopefully the word will spread as the benefits are numerous.

James Einert January 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

As a fellow hypnotist, I would be interested in what method you use for self-hypnosis. Do you use a trigger and then concentrate on numbing the pain, or do you do a post hypnotic trigger for the your body to be numb, or something else.
I have seen several demonstrations of self-hypnosis pain control, including a hernia operation, but no one explained how to get to this level of pain control on your own via self-hypnosis.
I enjoy reading your blog, so keep up the good work.
James Einert, ND, CH

Dave Sabat Dave Sabat January 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hi James,

I had planned to use distraction techniques whilst the op was going on. I intended to have a chat with my God, play Fifa 13 and spend some time on a beach with Katy Perry and Kylie feeding me grapes (not necessarily in that order) but those plans went out of the window so to speak.

I achieved a state of analgesia very quickly but with the pressure on my stomach from the cutting, pulling and pushing, had to face the reality of what was happening very quickly so had no option but to use simple deepeners.

Triggers, deepeners, “switches” to stop perceived pain signals, “nets” to catch the pain signals, building comfort (I remember smiling during the op) were some of the techniques that I used.

So to answer your question, many methods!

Mark Powlett January 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

What a great thing to be doing. I think we can all appreciate the effort that you had to make in order to be allowed to do this. By doing so you are helping to show people withing the NHS that hypnosis is a great way forward. All the best with any further work you do to make the idea more widespread.

Dave Sabat Dave Sabat January 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Hi Mark.

To say it took an effort to make it happen is an understatement. Over 12 months of letters and “polite” demands before the all clear from the powers that be.

Well worth the effort though.

Hypnotherapy Milton Keynes January 14, 2013 at 9:52 am

I think many people will feel inspired by reading your blog. I think it’s amazing how you managed to avoid general anaesthetic and resorted to self hypnosis for pain relief. It just goes to show the real power of the mind and what can be achieved with hypnotherapy.

Dave Sabat Dave Sabat January 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Absolutely, get the mind believing and incredible things could happen!

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