Aromatherapy Linked with Less Anxiety and Pain in Oculoplastic Surgery

Aromatherapy Linked with Less Anxiety and Pain in Oculoplastic Surgery

January 13, 2022

According to a presenter at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting, aromatherapy may reduce anxiety and pain in individuals who had oculoplastic surgery with monitored anesthetic sedation.

“Aromatherapy has been shown to reduce preoperative anxiety, and its effectiveness has also been shown in ophthalmic procedures, namely cataract surgery, in reducing anxiety,” Michael Chang, MD, said in the presentation.

“However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies on the effects of aromatherapy on patients undergoing oculoplastic surgeries have been studied, and therefore this is the main role of our current study.”

In a non-masked, placebo-controlled prospective study, Chang and his colleagues randomly assigned 60 patients who underwent oculoplastic surgery with monitored anesthesia care sedation at Ruby Memorial Hospital in West Virginia between August 2018 and November 2020.

Before procedure, a cotton pad was given to participants' gowns. 32 patients received a lavender-, bergamot-, or orange-infused pad, while the remaining 28 had a sham pad.

According to the poster, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scale was used to assess preoperative anxiety levels as well as preoperative and postoperative anxiety states, while the visual analogue scale was utilized to assess anxiety and pain.

There were no significant differences in procedure type between the control and aromatherapy groups, with the most common procedures being ptosis repair, lesion excision and lateral tarsal strip. Thirteen of the patients had numerous procedures performed on them.

Patients in the aromatherapy group showed lower anxiety and pain levels after surgery than those in the control group.

“[Of] patients who received aromatherapy, the majority of them had improved postoperative anxiety, whereas if you looked at the control group, more patients compared to the aromatherapy group had increased postoperative anxiety,” Chang said.

According to Chang, patients in the aromatherapy group spent less time in the post-anesthesia care unit, which could financially benefit the hospitals. The use of midazolam and dexmedetomidine was not found to be a significant contributor in the outcome of the study.

“In conclusion, aromatherapy can be a safe treatment, but in addition, preoperative use of aromatherapy can have a synergistic effect with intraoperative anesthetics to reduce both pain and anxiety,” Chang added.