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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ralph J. Damiano, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This book describes common complications after cardiothoracic surgery and how to avoid them. It is meant as a supplement to standard textbooks.
Purpose: It is designed to instruct surgeons how to carry out operations and provide postoperative care without complications. This is a worthy objective, but the authors do not always provide the reader with sufficient detail to meet these objectives.
Audience: Aimed at the practicing surgeon and the surgical trainee, the book does contain sufficient detail to satisfy the experienced practitioner, but is probably most appropriate for a resident. The authors are credible experts in the field.
Features: The book is meant to be a comprehensive account of complications following the various cardiothoracic operations. The thoracic chapters are somewhat more detailed than the cardiac ones. There is an excellent chapter on postoperative arrhythmias. The principal shortcomings of the book are the lack of sufficient detail in the management of complications, particularly when a technical procedure is involved. There are too few illustrations of surgical techniques that could be used to treat a complication (i.e., posterior AV groove rupture following a mitral valve procedure). Some sections have a completely inadequate discussion, such as strategies for failure to wean from bypass.
Assessment: This generally well written book provides a quick overview of complications following cardiothoracic surgery. The lack of detail and brevity of coverage will likely not appeal to practicing surgeons.