In an operating theatre in the Saint Luc University hospital in Brussels, the anaesthetist is also a hypnotist. Belgium is in the forefront of using hypnotism for surgery, more so than, for instance, France, Switzerland or the US. Compared to general anaesthetic, post-op comfort is greater; people who have been under hypnosis feel more normal; scar-healing goes better, and less pain medication is needed.
Source: Belgia.com 2 August 2011
Belgium seems to be at the forefront of using hypnosis in surgery whether for general anaesthesia or for pre-surgery hypnosis to speed up recovery and lessen scarring and post-op pain.
Before anaesthesia was available, hypnosis was the only option. People who are allergic to anaesthesia may opt for hypnosis nowadays.
I heard a case study of a woman who had an operation on a bone in her foot under hypnosis in the UK. The hospital were reluctant to allow her the choice but it was successful. After the operation, the nursing staff insisted on giving her pain medication which she did not need and crutches for walking out of the hospital. She left them behind as she was in no pain and able to walk unaided.
Queen Fabiola of Belgium was given hypnosis prior to surgery in 2009:
Here is a discussion about using hypnosis to decrease pain in surgery:
Antonia Harrison is the English Clinical Hypnotist in Belgium.