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Moore, W.T. (1975). The Impact of Surgery on Boys. Psychoanal. St. Child, 30:529-548.

(1975). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 30:529-548

The Impact of Surgery on Boys

William Thomas Moore, M.D.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN DETAILED observational knowledge about the immediate and long-term effects of surgery on two boys and their friends. The observations were recorded by their parents at a time when the boys' father was in analysis with me. While a separate paper could be written on the effect which the child's testis surgery had on the course of the father's analysis, I shall limit this presentation to relating the story of the two boys because such observations seem to me to have intrinsic value. Moreover, they highlight several areas that are generally neglected when we apply psychoanalytic knowledge of child development to give "mental first aid" (Bergmann and A. Freud, 1965) to children or advise their parents and our pediatric colleagues.



One evening Ben, who was then 8 years old, complained of general scrotal discomfort and a slight pain in his right testis which had developed earlier that day as he was sitting in music class. When his parents questioned him he was at first vague, but gradually disclosed that he may have been struck by a hardball during recess.

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