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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ralph J. Damiano, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is a comprehensive review of adult and congenital cardiothoracic surgery that is meant to serve as a core reference for those in the field.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an all-inclusive review of cardiothoracic surgery. This is a worthy objective and the authors have provided a concise review that is well written and relatively complete.
Audience: The book is principally written for cardiothoracic surgeons and residents. The contributors are all experts in their field.
Features: The authors attempt to cover all aspects of adult and congenital cardiothoracic surgery. A very nice feature is that each chapter begins with a "Key Concepts" section that students and residents will find helpful. Excellent chapters cover cardiac imaging, the anatomy of congenital cardiac malformations, pulmonary physiology. The authors have made a point of including evolving technologies when appropriate. The main shortcoming of the book is the very poor quality of some of the illustrations. This detracts from the text and is distracting to the reader. There are also a number of weak chapters, such as the one on minimally invasive cardiac surgery and mitral valve disease. In an attempt to be comprehensive, there is a too cursory treatment of some important topics (i.e., mitral repair) and glaring omission of other subjects (i.e., surgery for atrial fibrillation).
Assessment: This is a well written book that provides a comprehensive overview of the field. Practicing surgeons will likely find that it provides too little information, especially on the technical aspects of surgery and the controversial areas, to be particularly useful. The book will be most helpful to residents looking for a relatively brief review of cardiothoracic surgery. The poor quality of the illustrations is the principal weakness of the book.