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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce E Jarrell, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This is the eighth edition of a textbook describing current surgical therapy that has been created, in the words of the author, to decrease the size of the overall text and return to the original concept of allowing a physician to rapidly learn about the most current therapy.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide short chapters that are dedicated to understanding current surgical therapy as it applies to the immediate patient problem.
Audience: All surgical residents and practicing general and vascular surgeons are an appropriate audience.
Features: The book has been written by 431 authors, many of them new, in addition to the main author. The 271 chapters are grouped into 19 sections. A significant number of chapters have been deleted from previous editions and new chapters added where appropriate. Most of the chapters follow a format of basic and clinical science regarding the disease including its diagnosis, clinical presentation, and classification scheme. This is followed by the medical and surgical options. In the surgical options, the strategies, controversies, and complications are discussed in detail and at the end of each section is a short list of appropriate references. The book has numerous tables, line drawings, x-rays and ultrasound images where necessary. The technique for a certain procedure where a particular method is important is also demonstrated.
Assessment: This book accomplishes the new objective expressed by the author for a change in direction to a more useful book for rapidly understanding a disease and its treatment. One can pick the book up and, in a few minutes, get the salient issues of the management of a particular disease. However, the disease is discussed in sufficient depth so that one not only learns management, one also learns the important elements necessary to understand the disease and, therefore, to deal with unexpected findings. In addition, although perhaps the book was not designed to be read cover to cover, it obviously would be a well prepared surgeon who would read it in this fashion. As with the previous editions, the chapters are well written and have a consistent editorial style. Although the content is dense in each chapter, it is easy to read and understand and allows the reader to form a mental image of the disease and its care. The book has become a standard for many of our residents for learning about diseases as a surgical curriculum. I recommend it highly as an intermediate text that bridges the gap between a full comprehensive text and a limited quick-treatment text. It is excellent.