Guest Blog: “The Plastic Surgery Playlist – What Are Doctors Listening to in the OR”

Hey there everyone… since we’re wrapping up summer, I thought I would share something fun that will keep you rockin’ right into the holidays!

Here is this week’s Guest Blog from Mike Wilton at iEnhance  exploring the greatest hits in operating rooms around the country. And feel free to add your favorite tunes to the list by commenting below!

Post by Mike Wilton – August 25, 2011 on

Last week, Detroit area plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn confessed in an article on that he listens to Lady Gaga in the operating room. He went on to explain how music in the OR is common practice. In a recent study published in “Surgical Endoscopy” it was found that classical music affected surgeons more positively than hard rock or heavy metal. Another study published by “Surgical Innovation” named hip-hop and reggae the music that most benefited surgeons’ performances. With that in mind, we reached out to some of our doctors to find out what’s on their Plastic Surgery Playlist.

Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Mele is no stranger to music.  With a musical background that includes being the Music Director at UC Davis’ KDVS, Dr. Mele admits that his iPod features a variety of playlists sorted by artist, genre, year, and even plastic surgery procedure.

Dr. Mele has specific music associated with each procedure. “More mellow tunes work best,” he says in regards to facial procedures such as blepharoplasty. This keeps the atmosphere calm for patients that are in “twilight.” His eyelid surgery playlist includes a variety of songs ranging from Classical pieces from the Brandenburg Concertos to Will Smith’s “Summertime.”

Dr. Mele’s liposuction playlist “is perfused with more driving dance tunes and house music” he says. The upbeat playlist features tracks from artists such as A3, Alice DeeJay, “and the timeless Oh Yeah by Yello made famous my Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Though he has preset playlists, he admits that he more often than not sets his 1,000+ song collection to random and just listens to whatever comes up. “Everything from Hendrix to Sinatra and Scorpions to Sugarland is represented. While segues from 2Pac to Taylor Swift can be a little tough, everyone appreciates the variety and no genre plays long enough to become a distraction. Music in the OR promotes a camaraderie, and allows me to keep track of the time without having to look at the clock.”

Like Dr. Mele, Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Raffi Hovsepian plays various styles of music in the OR.  “It depends on the type of case I am doing.  Each case I do has its own genre of music.”  Facial surgery is paired with Classical, Bossa Nova, and Frank Sinatra, music that is more relaxing.  Body procedures, such as liposuction or tummy tuck, are paired with Classical and Alternative Rock. On the other hand, breast augmentation is paired with Hip Hop.

While Pennsylvania plastic surgeon Dr. James A. Yates tends to stick with New Age music in the OR, he shared the story of one particular instance where he opted for Ol’ Blue Eyes while working on a patient who was under local anesthesia and the patient smiled in the middle of the procedure. At that moment the doctor realized that the song, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” was playing. Coincidence or not, it makes for a great OR music story.

And while it seems that listening to music during surgery is common practice, it’s not always appreciated by nearby surgeons or hospital staff.  Maryland plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Markmann admitted that, “I get complaints all of the time that it is too loud.  The surgeons in the nearby operating rooms and staff in the hallways say they can hear the bass pounding on the walls.”

From classical to hip hop, it seems that every surgeon has his/her own personal taste of music that joins him/her in the operating room.  And whether it’s helping to improve their focus, or just make for a better work environment, it’s clear that it’s a significant part of the cosmetic enhancement process.  For a longer list of doctors and their plastic surgery playlists head over to the Cosmetic Surgery blog.

Original article can be found hereAnd thanks to Mike for sharing this great feature with us!