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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is an excellent textbook of regional anesthesia in the acute perioperative setting and interventional pain medicine. It is a comprehensive review of the literature on acute and chronic pain issues that has appeared since the previous edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The book covers every conceivable topic in pain management and details new bench research that in the foreseeable future will have a major impact how pain is managed. As with the previous edition, the authors have produced a very worthy book which accomplishes very worthy objectives.
Audience: Pain physicians will certainly appreciate this book since it covers all of the major topics in their field. It is a necessary read for pain fellows. As preventive and multimodal analgesia has assumed a more and more important role in the management of acute postoperative pain, anesthesiologists, who are primarily responsible for pain control in the immediate postoperative period, will find the book relevant. The book has long list of contributors, most of whom are well known figures in their fields.
Features: This edition has expanded to 51 chapters to include the new developments that have taken place in the last decade. Each of the book's four parts covers a different aspect of pain medicine. The six chapters in the first section cover the basic and clinical pharmacology of local anesthetics in depth, metabolic effects of surgery, and the effects of neuraxial blockage on outcome. The second section, which is mostly procedural, covers techniques for different nerve blocks by region, starting with the neuraxial block. This book has the best description of neuraxial anatomy and physiology. Each block is covered systematically, with a detailed description of relevant anatomy, followed by indications for the nerve block, a vivid description of how to do it, and a discussion of complications. The third section covers clinical applications of neuraxial block for different surgical procedures. Separate chapters detail the most suitable type of block for each surgical procedure. The book covers in quite a bit of detail how to manage epidurals for different type of procedures. The last section covers physiology and the psychological aspects of chronic pain. It devotes an extensive amount of text, spread over multiple chapters, to the basic physiology, neuroanatomy, and neurochemistry of pain. The book then shifts gears and covers chronic pain, discussing topics like the comprehensive evaluation of chronic pain patients, evidence-based analysis of different diagnostic pain injections, intrathecal opioid therapy, neuromodulation, and different neuroablative pain procedures. Every topic is discussed exhaustively. The chapter on intrathecal opioids is a treat to read, covering everything from spinal opioid receptors to spinal opioid pharmacology to the current state of different drugs used in implanted intrathecal pumps. At the end, the book provides important, detailed insights into the management of pain in palliative care settings, cancer pain patients, geriatric and pediatric populations, and acute postoperative settings. The chapter on pediatric pain is especially helpful as it covers important pharmacological aspects of pain medication used for neonates and small children. It provides important helpful drug dosage guidelines that are at times hard to find. This edition is available online for purchasers who register at a web site. This may be helpful, allowing readers to consult the book anytime, anywhere.
Assessment: This is a masterpiece in the field of pain medicine. It is the only book that comes close to being considered textbook of pain for pain fellows. It covers the theory and practice of pain comprehensively, including all the topics one needs to know to practice pain management in the acute setting. What it is not is a regional anesthesia textbook or a well-illustrated interventional pain injection textbook. Instead, it strikes a unique balance between a description of the basic science of pain and the procedural aspects of pain management and its application in the clinical setting. It's a must read book for every anesthesiologist and pain physician.