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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce E Jarrell, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This 24th edition of a British-based surgery textbook updates the content to include several new chapters relating to parasitic disease, daily care of the surgical patient, and an expanded history taking section.
Purpose: The original purpose was to provide a clearly written textbook that is fun to read. In this update, the authors make an attempt to make it more relevant and comprehensive in the areas they thought important.
Audience: Anyone practicing or in training for general or specialty surgery is an audience for this book.
Features: The book's 81 chapters begin with learning objectives related to the surgical topic. The initial portion of the book deals with general topics in surgery, including general principles, wound healing, surgical skills, imaging, etc. Other sections focus on specific surgical specialties including traditional general surgery, urology, pediatric surgery, cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, orthopedic, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, and head and neck cancer surgery. There are many diagrams, photographs, and radiographs throughout the text. Numerous highlighted text boxes summarize key facts and concepts.
Assessment: This book accomplishes the objective of the authors to create a comprehensive book that is clear and fun to read. It is, in fact, well written and describes classical presentations of diseases, providing significant diagnostic and therapeutic information. It can be described as a broad survey of surgical disease and various treatments rather than an in-depth look. The color diagrams are of very high quality and include excellent, descriptive pictures. For example, in the section on parasitology, the diagrams provide an instant image of the life cycle of a parasite and its treatment. Color histology slides are also of very high quality and useful. The text boxes appear on practically every page and contribute significantly to content. I read the parasitology chapter in detail and it was interesting reading and informative, even though these diseases are not commonly seen in this country. One nice feature is the fact that the book gives reference to the origin of named syndromes and unusual words. Thus, for example, Lariche Syndrome contains a reference to Renee Lariche, his date of birth and death, his location when he described the syndrome and what date it was described. A particularly nice aspect of this book is the inclusion of many photos of clinical cases from Third World sources showing advanced and unusual diseases rarely seen at the stage demonstrated in the United States or Great Britain. I liked this book because it was so nice to read and gave a general overview of areas of practice.