I’ve had the surgery of my life: Patients choose to watch relaxing classic films during theatre

Patients at Peterborough City Hospital are being given the chance to watch their favourite films and TV programmes to help them relax during surgery.

Cinema classics such as The Sound of Music,CabaretWest Side Story and South Pacific have proven the most popular choices among older patients, who are more likely to be given a local anaesthetic when going under the knife.

Dirty Dancing is currently the most popular film with older female patients, while BBC documentary series The Blue Planet is is another favourite, apparently chosen because of David Attenborough’s soothing voice.

The scheme is being led by consultant anaesthetist Dr Richard Griffiths, who says the approach is beneficial to older patients who carry an increased risk of reacting badly to general anaesthetic.

Iris Quirolo, 75, recently chose to watch The Sound of Music during a hip operation.

She said: “It was a good experience and a much better way to have an operation. I never expected this would be an option and I have vowed that if I ever need another operation like this I will ask to be able to watch TV again!”

Dr Griffiths, who got the idea from a private hospital in Glasgow, said: “I am pleased that this idea is proving popular with patients as it means we can reduce the number of general anaesthetics given to older patients.

“If they are happy to be awake and watch the TV, I am happy that they are going to have a better experience.”