Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, MD (Bridgeport Hospital)
Description: This is a collection of disparate topics in plastic surgery that the authors have deemed appropriate to subject to an evidence-based methodology. Their basis for this evaluation is that an objective approach rather than a subjective opinion is superior for establishing whether a particular treatment protocol or surgical regimen is practical, reliable, and reproducible.
Purpose: The author, Dr. Christopher Stone, and his associates extract meaningful objective criteria from literature searches relating to specific plastic surgery procedures, and by doing so create a logical and systematic manner to evaluate these treatments.
Audience: The authors are plastic surgeons from the United Kingdom who have wide ranging credentials and interests and an appropriate knowledge base in the selected topics. This book would be of interest to researchers, students of higher learning, and academic plastic surgeons who require an evidence-based formula to assist in determining whether a particular procedure is warranted or efficacious.
Features: Each chapter is distinct, except for the use of a similar evaluative methodology, review of literature, and conclusion. Written by a cadre of authors, the articles show a consistent approach to each topic, yet demonstrate variations characteristic of each author's writing style. Since there is a great reliance on literature review, it is dismaying to encounter articles that are not contemporary. Perhaps this is attributable to the lengthy time frame for book publication; nevertheless, it is worth noting. The 30 chapters cover many controversial topics, such as timing and care of tibial fractures; vacuum-assisted closure of wounds; necrotizing fascitis; body mass index as an indicator for complications; burn physiologic response; improving pediatric burns results; skin substitutes; sentinel node biopsy in melanoma; soft tissue sarcoma issues; timing and repairs of hypospadias and cleft palates; wrist injuries and care; microvascular tissue transfer and monitoring; flap reconstruction of the oral cavity and of the breast; implant rippling concerns; an algorithmic approach to gynecomastia; esthetic facial, neck, and lid surgery; use of fibrin sealants; approaches to the aging skin; tissue allotransplantation for the hand and face; and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Black-and-white photos accompany many of the articles. Each topic commences with an introductory section. The PubMed descriptors are identified and then followed by sections that offer relevant background information. Areas of controversy are highlighted along with advantages and disadvantages where applicable. The concluding remarks offer evidence-graded recommendations that readers can assess and use to place an objective value on each proposal.
Assessment: This is an excellent academic achievement which affords those interested, evidence-based criteria based upon a set of objective values. The currency of some of the review articles is a bit problematic. All the same, the authors discuss controversial topics in plastic surgery about which it would have been difficult to find anything but opinions based upon recollection rather than scientific evidence - until now.