While under hypnosis, patients can be taught to alter their psychophysiological functions. With this ability to alter these functions, patients can overcome the anxiety associated with surgery. Patients with high anxiety often experience more depression, can have increased complications, need more anesthesia and medication, have suppressed immune function, and often take longer to heal. The purpose of this article is to review the research literature related to the use of hypnosis in preparing the patient for surgery and to present 2 approaches used by the authors to prepare patients for surgery. The first approach is used when there is enough time to condition the patient, and the second approach is used when the anesthetist meets the patient shortly before the surgery is to begin and there is no time to induce formal trance.