“Healing” in the Operating Room: What a novel thought!



I have been performing surgery for over 26 years and the wonder of what takes place in the “operating theatre” as they call it in the UK and Oz never ceases to amaze me. I am not referring to the physical surgery, I am referring to the trust a patient has when they surrender completely to physicians and nurses that they barely know. They trust that we have their best interest in our hands. For many of you who are reading this, if you have been in the OR, you were likely asleep when you were there (frankly I prefer to be awake  when I am in the OR having been both the surgeon and the patient).

The perception of what happens in the OR is typically gleaned from the television or movie impressions. It’s not just the scripted shows, but the reality TV era that has shaped our views and impressions.

  • Trivia question- Who performed the first live reality surgery on the web??
  • If you answered Dr Beth DuPree and Dr Robert Skalicky, you would be correct. October 1999 we had the honor of educating 1.3 million viewers as they watched a LIVE BILATERAL MASTECTOMY AND RECONSTRUCTION. Patty Derman was incredibly brave and a healer in her own right as she chose to educate millions of women and men and bring them on her journey to healing. The event was huge and ended up receiving a coveted Gracie Allen Award for excellence in broadcasting and a feature in the New York Times. (It didn’t launch my TV career as a ‘TV Surgeon’ so I had to keep my day job)
    The Internet Surgery and America's Health Network Show

    The Internet Surgery and America’s Health Network Show

    Gracie Allen 001

    Patty Derman holding the Gracie Allen Award surrounded by her surgeons and America’s Health Network team

My daily operating room routine may be an experience that is a bit different from the standard OR experience. I typically escort my patients from the holding area into the room, holding their hand, their attention, their energy and the intention of healing for their highest and best (without judgement of what healing looks like for them). You cannot focus on fear or allow anxiety to set in if your attention is being held on another topic. It could be that I am simple distracting them from their fear, but isn’t that a good thing??

As they drift off to sleep under anesthesia, I hold their right hand in my left hand and place my right hand over their heart. (call it prayer, Reiki, energy healing, focused intention, what every you like- I am simply holding that individuals energy sacred, which creates the atmosphere in the OR that what I am doing surgically is sacred work). I use guided imagery and have them visualize going to a place of their choosing that brings them joy and peace in their heart. It is as simple as that.

Several times in the past, I have had healing practitioners come to the OR with me at the request of the patients. Their experiences have been profound and I believe that we need to explore, in a clinical trial setting, how this works for the patient and the staff.

Savitur Dhanvantre

Savitur Dhanvantre

I have been asked repeatedly by nurses and anesthesia “why do you bother doing that?” as the patients have been given drugs to make them forget. My reply is simple- patients are aware of everything that takes place in the OR whether or not they can access it readily. Their conscious mind may be on a mini vacation, but their unconscious mind is well aware of everything.

If you work in the operating room, remember that the person who is on the table is scared, vulnerable, and wide open so please be respectful of this at all times.

Ignite Your Spirit!

Recently, I had the great fortune and grace to have an amazing healer in the operating theatre with me. Savitur Dhanvantre, a master healer, from Shanti Mission Australia not only joined me in the OR but was able to prepare my patients for the experience with pre-operative , intra-operative and post-operative healing.

Savitur Dhanvantre

Savitur Dhanvantre

Sounds kinda funny to talk about “HEALING” in the OR as something spectacular but in our Western world, the OR is thought of as that place where cancer is “cut out”, bones are repaired or tissues are removed. Clearly the “physical body” of cancer or repairing abnormal conditions in the body is only one aspect of healthcare. I know that healing has been occurring with my patients as I am surgically removing the tumors, but I liken this to quantum healing to healing the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Energetically, the patients are shifting spiritually as the surgery shifts their bodies physically.

So, how did this all come about? During my two week trip to India, a plan had been put in place to have Shakti Durga come to the OR with me while she was in the USA. Her plans changed as she was called to return to India.  Instead, Savitur was chosen to  come to the USA for a retreat. Savitur obtained his TB test and provided all of the documentation to come to the OR to be present with the patients. I obtained written permission from all of the patients to allow Savitur to work with them. The hospital staff was alerted and all were open to the possibilities.

All of my patients that received healing that week had profound and amazing shifts in their physical, emotional, and energetic bodies. Anxiety, fea,r and stress melted away. Post-operatively each woman was visibly calmer and more at peace. One patient had such severe anxiety that after a simple ten minute pre-op session with Savitur, the pre-op nurse thought that the anesthesiologist had given the patient versed (a strong medication that wipes away anxiety temporarily). The patient’s husband asked if he could take Savitur home with them.

Another patient had had several previous surgeries and said that this one was “grace and ease”. No anxiety,no pain, and no worries.

So many individuals hold on to beliefs and behavior patterns that do not serve them. I do not know if it is the word “cancer” that allowed these women to make such profound shifts in their energy bodies but the changes were not only perceived and felt by the patients, but by the families and the staff as well.

Quantum Healing

Quantum Healing


My treatment of the physical disease cancer is rooted in western medicine. High tech and cutting edge. My treatment of the spiritual and emotional aspects of my patients is rooted simply in healing. Healing comes in many forms. There are so many therapeutic healing modalities available, we just need to give our patients access to them.

My work with The Healing Consciousness Foundation is of the utmost importance to me as it has given us the vehicle to allow women and men affected with breast cancer to not only experience state-of-the-art western medical care of their physical disease, but it allows them to find healing deep in PEACE in their Heart.



6 thoughts on ““Healing” in the Operating Room: What a novel thought!

  1. How profoundly wonderful Beth! The anxiety I experienced was off the charts so many years ago and was bottled up for many years (as you well know!). The importance of this cannot be minimized – keep going with blessings and love.

    • You have been. Guiding light for me. Were it not for your sharing of your journey, I would not have been inspired to Chang the path for my patients
      Namaste my dear friend

  2. I thank you and will be forever greatful for the healing I received in the OR- I truly believe that this has helped me to heal in many different ways- God Bless you Beth! I still sleep with the pink quartz heart under my pillow at night!

  3. Thanks so very much from the depth of my heart Dr. Dupree. I seemed to sail through surgery and my recovery from the bilateral mastectomy (May 16,2012) was pretty much a snap after the first couple of days and I absolutely believe you were hands on healing me throughout the procedure.. I always new I was in the highest and best of hands and that is why I chose you as my breast surgeon.I have chronicled you and my sojourn with cancer on my Caring Bridge site.+

    Namaste and with Love Light and Blessings for crossing your path.

  4. How fantastic! What an inspiration and I hold the vision that this will become “gold standard” treatment in my life time. Keep up the amazing work Dr Dupree and Savitur Dhavantre!

  5. I was one of those patient who had the wonderful opportunity to experience true healing. Here is my story: On Tuesday, Beth came into my room with so much positive energy and with her had a gentleman from Australia who was a healer. He also had a lot of positive energy. They asked if he could do his healing thing with me and I said sure. He first asked my concern and after thinking about it for 1 minute, I told him I was afraid that after the surgery, I would be in a great deal of pain. (In my like I have had a spleenectomy, gall bladder surgery, and heart surgery) and every time I woke up I was blown away with the pain. Now over the years my body has a sensitivity to pain medication. If I take anything from Aleve to Morphine I have a pancreatic attack, which turns out much more painful than the surgery. I can only us Delauda (sp?) which is an all or nothing kind of drug. (too strong to stay on for long) Did I mention I have a real low, low tolerance to pain. He led me through a meditative guided imagery, using my catholic belief, the Blessed Mother and Jesus were there at my head and feet. He also had his spirit (I think he called her Sophie) And what they did was draw out all my fears and concerns of pain and complications. He left me in such a relaxed and confident state I could take on anything.

    The next morning Beth, Aussie Healer and Aussie Healer II (woman) came in my room to get me for surgery. My daughters met Beth and loved her. Everyone was feeling confident. I am reading a book now called “The Lord” by Romano Guardini and in it he says God does not speak to us directly, he speaks to us through others. I know that I saw the face of God in a smiling surgically robed Aussie healer waving to me as I was going under, and I felt the loving hand of God in Beth Dupree’s healing hands. The pathology report came back and the edges were clean and the lymph nodes clear. ALLELUIA!!
    I was going through life complaining about the small things when I walked into a brick wall called cancer. What a wake-up call. I WILL NEVER UNAPPRECIATE THIS WONDERFUL LIFE GOD HAS GIVEN ME and I will always be grateful to Beth DuPree and her wonderful staff (from my first phone call with Jeanette.) and her amazing team (Dr. Patel, Dr. Scarlett, Dr. Catherine with a C, PEM people ect. ) and all the wonderful people who guided me lovingly through what should have been the worst time of my life.

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