AMC hospital screens movies for patients during surgery

AMC hospital screens movies for patients during surgery

The Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC) hospital is transforming an operating theatre into a movie theatre for a select group of patients undergoing surgery with an epidural or local anaesthetic.

As part of a medical pilot programme exploring the possibilities of relaxed surgery, 50 patients will watch a film or listen to music during an operation on their knee or ankle.

The AMC is one of eight university hospitals in the Netherlands, which not only provides medical treatment for patients but also conducts medical research, education and training.

Positive review from the first patient

The first patient in the trial underwent ankle surgery under Dr Gino Kerkhoff while watching Dutch nature documentary De Nieuwe Wildernis (The New Wilderness).

The patient’s feedback after the operation was encouraging: "I thought it was really enriching, it felt like a luxury, while everyone was at work I was watching a movie".

Your own private cinema

During the operation patients watch a film via cinema-format video glasses, or their favourite music via headphones.

If the film is not over by the time the surgery is complete, patients receive a Pathé Thuis gift voucher so they can finish watching it at home.

Exploring the potential of relaxed surgery

By creating an immersive and calming experience for the patient, medical specialists at the AMC aim to explore ways of reducing stress levels and tension in the patient both before and after the operation.

The team are investigating the film screenings as a complement, or even alternative, to conventional anaesthetics. They are also curious to learn if this new strategy can improve the recovery process.

The trial is part of a research project conducted by Professor of Surgery Marlies Schijven, who is an authority on Serious Gaming and Simulation.

If proven effective, and met with successful future trials, this relaxed surgery technique could shine a light on new treatment possibilities for heathcare in the Netherlands and around the world.

Sources: AMC, NOS

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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