• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Hypnotised patient sings through throat surgery

Ben McPartland · 16 Jun 2014, 17:05

Published: 16 Jun 2014 17:05 GMT+02:00

Not many patients would be brave enough to be hypnotised if they have to go under the knife, let alone sing throughout the surgery, but for one singer in France, that appeared to be her only option.

When Alama Kanté, niece of the famous Guinean singer Mory Kanté, was told she needed an operation on a tumour on her parathroid glaand in her throat, she faced the possibility that she may never be able to perform again.

If her vocal chords were damaged, it would harm her singing voice and leave her having to find another career.

In an interview with Le Parisien newspaper surgeon Gilles Dhonneur, from the Henri-Mondor hospital near Creteil, said that for the singer, who specialises in African chants, it was imperative that they were able to check during the surgery that her “work utensils” or vocal chords were not damaged.

Although the pain of such a procedure is normally so unbearable that general anaesthetic would be the obvious option, Dhonneur said, the need to keep Kanté awake meant surgeons had to think of an alternative method.

Thankfully the inventive medics came up with a way to perform the surgery effectively whilst protecting her voice.

The decided to employ the “perfect compromise” of hypnotism along with a small dose of local anaesthetic and as such they were able to keep Kanté awake and ask her to sing at certain stages during the process.

“She went into a trance listening to the words of the hypnotist. She went far away, to Africa and she began to sing. It was amazing,” the surgeon told Le Parisien.

(Singer Alama Kanté after her successful operation)

At a press conference on Saturday the singer told the media that she has fully recovered and is ready to return to the stage.

Story continues below…

“The anaesthetist asked if I wanted to go on a journey, so I let her lead the way,” Kanté said.

Hypnosis was first used as an anaesthetic in 1992, by Professor Marie-Elizabeth Faymonville in a hospital in the Belgian town of Liège.

According to the Le Figaro, the technique is commonly used in France to treat severe pain, for example in major burns. However it is becoming more common for hypnotism to be used in operations.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
IMF boss Lagarde to stand trial over $400 million payout
Lagarde will be the third successive IMF chief to face trial. Photo: AFP

IMF chief Christine Lagarde was ordered Friday to stand trial in France over a massive state payout to a colourful tycoon when she was French economy minister, dealing a setback to her stellar career.

Hollande defends minister under fire over Nice attack
The Nice assault was the third major attack on French soil in the past 18 months. Photo: AFP

French President Francois Hollande on Friday defended his government from accusations it relaxed its anti-terror defences after the Euro championships, and announced plans to arm the fight against the Islamic State group which claimed the Nice attack.

Why was Nice ordered to delete CCTV images of attack?
Photo: AFP

The fact that city authorities in Nice were asked to delete images of the truck attack has only given weight to those criticizing the government.

Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Photo: Runs With Scissors/Flickr

Struggling to learn French? Here are some free and easy ways to help you conquer the language once and for all.

32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
Photo: Tatyana A./Flickr

How many of these have you committed?

France to supply Iraq artillery as it steps up fight against Isis
Photo: AFP

France is stepping up its battle against Isis in the Middle East.

How to show solidarity with France? Don’t cancel your trip
Photo: AFP

The best way to show fraternity with France after the latest terror attack is not on Facebook or Twitter, but by coming to visit.

IN PICTURES
Police clear out '2,500' migrants from Paris camp
ALL Photos: AFP

Police in Paris carried out their 26th eviction order on a migrant camp on Friday with 2,500 mainly young men from Syria and east Africa evacuated.

Hollande tells Brits they can stay but expat worries persist
'Right, you keep our expats and we'll look after yours'. Photo: AFP

Do President François Hollande's words reassure you?

France takes 'great step for reform' as labour laws passed
Photo: AFP

After months of violent street protests and friction between unions and the government, the French parliament has definitively adopted a set of controversial labour reforms.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Ten reasons not to leave Paris this summer
Ten ways other expats in France drive you mad
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
'Very Stupid' village in France honoured for its silly name
Travel
Ten crazy things to do in France if you dare
Society
Paris: an obstacle course for wheelchair users
Brits ignore Brexit fears to make dream move to France
2,763
jobs available