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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Brent W Miller, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This handbook is an overview of the entire process of kidney and pancreas transplantation.
Purpose: The purpose is to communicate the various contributors' experiences and strategies drawn predominantly from the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Texas Southwestern. I suspect many transplant programs have a similar but less-polished compilation of protocols for their residents and coordinators to follow.
Audience: The editor principally targets the surgical resident, but also hopes this book will reach transplant physicians, coordinators, and operating personnel. He does not mention medical students, though the succinctness and clarity of the chapters would certainly appeal to a medical student thrust into a transplant surgery rotation.
Features: This handbook is divided into 12 well thought out but uneven chapters, such as medical evaluation of the potential recipient, the procedure itself, and postoperative care. Several features do stand out for an introductory text. The excellent illustrations help any reader not familiar with the transplant procedure. This handbook reads remarkably quickly and the salient points are communicated with general references provided at the end of each chapter. Specific protocols are listed in detail — a boon to the resident facing the task of actually managing a transplant patient (though every center will have its own nuances). For example, the postoperative orders could be copied verbatim as listed.
Assessment: Ultimately, this book falls short of reaching a wide audience for several reasons. First, solid organ transplantation is a rapidly evolving combination of basic immunology, vascular surgery, and internal medicine. This book could already be outdated. Second, renal and pancreas transplantation can not be adequately covered in such a short text, no matter how well written and edited. Danovitch's Handbook of Kidney Transplantation (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1996) and Normans' Primer on Transplantation (Aston Publishers, Ltd., 1997) will remain introductory works of choice.