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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Robert M Arensman, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This book, now in its sixth edition, is essentially a handbook of pediatric surgery, just in a slightly larger size. It is a quick, breezy introduction to pediatric surgery that presents the major facts, the quick diagnosis, and a brief statement about the operative correction.
Purpose: The current editors open the book with these words: "The objective of the first edition of this book was to bring together information on surgical conditions in infancy and childhood for use by medical students and resident medical officers. It remains a great satisfaction to our contributors that the book has fulfilled this aim successfully, and that a sixth edition is now required."
Audience: The editors correctly identify beginners in pediatric surgery as those who will use this book and find it most helpful. It also will be a quick reference for house officers, general pediatricians, or anyone seeking the most basic information on pediatric surgical conditions. The four senior editors enlist the aid of 13 recognized pediatric surgery specialists at three well known Australian or New Zealand children's hospitals to provide various chapters.
Features: The book is divided into nine sections, primarily by anatomical location (chest, abdomen, head and neck, etc.). Within each section, the chapters give a brief overview of a specific problem (GI bleeding for example) with an emphasis on presentation, diagnosis, and correction, although almost no specific surgical details are provided. The text is nicely illustrated with high quality black-and-white photos. Many chapters begin with case presentations followed by several questions. Answers are provided at the conclusion of the book. Chapters generally conclude with key points and a list of further readings from the major textbooks of pediatric surgery.
Assessment: Overall, this is a nicely done, but modest, contribution to pediatric surgical literature. It will remind American readers of the various handbook series available for students and house officers, and for that group, this should prove to be a nice introduction to pediatric surgery.