Description: This book is a review of the basic concepts involving esophageal disease, with special attention paid to reflux disease and cancer, as well as patient management and evaluation.
Purpose: It serves as a "how-to" manual, and the editors' objectives are worthwhile but are only rarely met in a few chapters.
Audience: This book is intended for those dealing with esophageal disease on a routine basis, and according to the editors should be written for the specialist. However, it is written at the level of medical students or persons treating patients not intimately involved with diseases of the esophagus.
Features: The editors span the evaluation of patients with benign and malignant esophageal disease and include an excellent review of the initial evaluation of the patient with esophageal disease. The section on manometric findings and laboratory data is extremely well described and illustrated with excellent examples. However, I found that most of the data are of limited information, such as the current treatment of cancer, and is poorly written for the treatment of perforation. Many of the references are outdated as are the viewpoints on surgery. This book appears to be more about one author's experience with these diseases than decisive information. This is not an authoritative text.
Assessment: This book represents a limited review of extremely difficult topics in esophageal surgery. However, it is only a primer for medical students or early house staff in general surgery. It is an adequate review for the family practitioner or as a quick reference for those not intimately involved with esophageal disease. However, it is not a definitive text for the specialist and cannot be compared easily to other books on esophageal disease such as Pearson's Esophageal Surgery (Churchill Livingstone, Inc, 1995).