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Before the Scalpel by Panchali Dhar, MD -- A Review

ISBN 978-0-9816453-0-8

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When a person is told they ned to have surgery, or their child neds surgery, often the stress involved is so intense that thinking about anesthesia is likely to be the last thing on your mind. If it does enter your mind, it may seem scary or confusing-or both. In Before the Scalpel Dr. Dhar covers the entire process so completely, there is no need for confusion.

Starting with the anesthesiologist. Dr. Dhar explains what a patient needs to question about credentials. She goes on to explain the various options available and even takes the time to explain what equipment a patient will encounter and what each is for. Next the procedure is explained. Dr. Dhar then goes on to explain special concerns that need to be addresed by those who are overweight or children. She covers dental work and plastic surgery. Dr. Dhar even covers the recovery period and what you will experience. She has truly thought of everything possible.

I found it particularly helpful that, at the end of each chapter, there is a section provided, along with space to make notes, that covers the necessary information a patient should obtain in advance. These sections make it so much easier for patients to cover everything. I was particularly amazed at the differences in children that need to be taken into account when they undergo surgery. She lists things I would never have thought about--but things that could make a big difference!

This book is a must-read for anyone who has surgery in their future. Written in layman's terms, Dr. Dhar takes the mystery-and therefore the fear, out of anesthesia. The glossary covers every possible term you may hear and there is an extensive section of references for further reading if you wish. I would recommend this book without hesitation. I believe it should be available in every hospital to help prepare patients for surgery.

This book was not only an informative read, it was also engaging. Dr. Dhar has taken a subject that could easily have been dry and boring and used an entertaining voice, numerous drawings and photographs and elements of reader interaction to produce a book that makes learning easy and interesting.

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unwriter said...

A well written review and I agree, having a section showing just how different the procedure is for children is critical. But she goes one step further and describes how body weight can also have an influence.

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