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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Timothy Daniel Light, MD (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Description: This is a beautiful, large format color surgical atlas which will complete any surgeon's library. The first edition was published 14 years ago, and this new edition reflects advances in surgical care, as well as improved illustrations and text.
Purpose: The authors are authoritative leaders in surgery from the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The book describes the operative techniques on the foregut employed at this august institution. Many of the operations described were developed at Johns Hopkins. The atlas vividly depicts in color illustrations and clear language these surgical techniques, bringing them alive for the reader.
Audience: The book is addressed to the young surgical practitioner and senior resident, although it is accessible to the student and resident. Some cases described here are probably performed only at the most sophisticated tertiary referral centers, but it also includes the basic cases such as cholecystectomy. The inclusion of the rare cases adds to the atlas rather than distracting the reader. A colonic interposition for esophageal reconstruction is probably outside the scope of practice for most readers, but there are pearls to learn from reviewing the depiction of the Hopkins way.
Features: Both open and laparoscopic approaches are covered for surgical diseases of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, spleen, liver, pancreas, and biliary tree. The illustrations are vivid and lifelike. The text includes comments about indications, preparation, pitfalls, and technical tips which complement the pictures. The book is fairly low-tech — no video or web-linking or interactive technology. Their absence in no way weakens this book. It represents a pinnacle of medical illustration and a text-based surgical atlas.
Assessment: The large format and multiple volumes make this book fairly expensive, and not portable. However, I can think of no other atlas that's as well presented and beautifully packaged. For the reader who owns the first edition, the second edition is well worth purchasing as it covers new technology, and the description is more extensive.