Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The “O, MY” in Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy: How to Prepare Your Child for Surgery

The “O, MY” in Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy: How to Prepare Your Child for Surgery (Second Edition)           
By: Laurie Zelinger, Ph.D., R.P.T.-S 
Published by: Loving Healing Press   Date: 2010     
ISBN: 978-1-61599-053-5 (paperback); 978-1-61599-054-2 (hardcover)
Price: $19.95 (paperback); $32.95 (hardcover)
Ages: Adults
Rating:  4 stars
Reviewed by: Nancy Messmore

Synopsis: When a child has to have surgery, concern may overwhelm caregivers.  In this guide to preparing for tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, Dr. Zelinger has gathered information to help caregivers remember what the doctor may have said, prepare themselves and their children for the surgery, and be ready for post-surgery needs.

The book covers everything from making the decision to have surgery to scripting a discussion about surgery with a child.  A bibliography is provided at the end of the book to help caregivers answer any questions that may not have been answered in the book.  Also, a checklist and caregiver’s organizer are provided.

Overall thoughts: Dr. Zelinger is thorough in every aspect of preparing caregivers and children for surgery.  I especially appreciated the fact that both the physical and psychological comforts of the children were considered.  Tips for minimizing worry are especially helpful.  Scripting discussions about what the tonsils are and what to expect after surgery are particularly helpful—I always wonder if I’m telling my kids too much or not enough about things that impact them, like an impending surgery.

On that note, I think the book would have been more effective had the scripts been presented as mini-books, such as a few pages illustrated and written to be read to the children.  Illustrations are so effective in expressing concepts that may be too advanced for younger children.  Additionally, I wonder if the text-heavy pages would be overwhelming for caregivers who are already distracted with worry.  For example, the paragraph listing what to pack on the morning of surgery is awfully long and hard to read.  It might be more reader-friendly as a bulleted list.

Overall, I am impressed by the thorough coverage of the topic.  From personal experience, I know that listening to a doctor recount the why’s and when’s and how’s of a surgery for my child is overwhelming and I do not hear or recall the majority of the information.  Laurie Zelinger has taken all that information and put it into an easy to read, accessible resource to calm caregivers and children before surgery.



  1. My grandchild had his tonsils out earlier this year, and I think a book like this could be helpful. Thank you for sharing about it.

  2. I understand how overwhelmed parents may be during a stressful situation. As a nurse I try to explain things in as few words as possible so not to overwhelm a parent even more. Good points made in the review.



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