Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 18:57 UK

Man hypnotises himself before op

Alex Lenkei
Alex Lenkei has been practising hypnosis since the age of 16

A hypnotist from West Sussex has undergone surgery on his right hand without a general anaesthetic.

Alex Lenkei, 61, from Worthing, chose to sedate himself by hypnosis before undergoing the 83-minute operation.

He said he was fully aware of everything going on around him during the procedure but was free from pain.

The operation at Worthing Hospital involved removing some bone in the base of the thumb and fusing some joints in an attempt to improve his arthritis.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon David Llewellyn-Clark said he was happy in agreeing to the unusual sedation on Mr Lenkei, a registered hypnotist who has been practising since the age of 16.

At one stage a hammer and chisel was used as well as a surgical saw, but I felt no pain
Alex Lenkei

Mr Lenkei said Wednesday's surgery "went amazingly well".

"It took between 30 seconds to a minute for me to place myself under hypnosis, and from that point I felt a very deep relaxation.

"I was aware of everything around me, from people talking and at one stage a hammer and chisel was used as well as a surgical saw, but I felt no pain."

Throughout the operation, an anaesthetist was on standby to administer an anaesthetic if necessary.

Mr Llewellyn-Clark said he had been confident that Mr Lenkei was a skilled hypnotist and was "delighted all went well".


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