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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD, MBA (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Description: This is the tenth edition of a classic comprehensive textbook of surgery. The previous edition was published in 2010, so this revision is quite timely. A stable and extremely well-qualified editorial board has again enlisted highly esteemed chapter authors to revise and, as needed, rewrite the 49 chapters. The book is lavishly illustrated in color and black-and-white and is accompanied by a DVD with videos of selected surgical procedures.
Purpose: The book aims to continue to provide "unmatched coverage of the foundations of surgery while bringing into sharper focus new and emerging technologies." It amply meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: This will be used as a comprehensive textbook by medical students and residents entering surgical training (primarily general surgery) and as a reference for others in related fields and disciplines. It also will be useful for American Board of Surgery board examination preparation. The editors are highly credible authorities and the editorial board spans the gamut of major subunits of general surgery. The board has been in place over at least the past two editions, as have many of the chapter authors. The editorial board has done an excellent job of maintaining consistently high quality throughout, avoiding the unevenness that sometimes plagues multiauthored books.
Features: The book is divided into two sections. The first section, "Basic Considerations," consists of 15 chapters and includes discussions of pathophysiological processes, general surgical techniques (for example, minimally invasive, robotics, and single-incision laparoscopic surgery), and a new chapter on leadership training in surgery. "Specific Considerations" makes up the rest of the book, and it follows a fairly standard anatomic and/or organ system approach, with chapters devoted to arterial disease, esophagus, surgical management of obesity, breast, and soft tissue sarcomas. Chapters in this section cover subspecialties such as pediatric surgery, urology, and neurosurgery. The book concludes with chapters on anesthesia, the elderly, ethics and palliative care, and global surgery. Key points are set off in boxes, and the text is replete with boxed lists of diagnostic studies, guidelines, normal values, etiologies, and so on. Evidence-based medicine is employed throughout. A unique strength of this book has always been its clear and lucid explanation of congenital and acquired heart disease and this continues in this edition.
Assessment: This has always been one of the "big two" (now three) textbooks in surgery; it is most nearly comparable to Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice, 19th edition, Townsend et al. (Elsevier, 2012). It is also comparable to the newer comprehensive text Greenfield's Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice, 5th edition, Mulholland et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011). All three are excellent and reference libraries will want to offer to access to all. Any one of them is a worthy companion as a young surgeon embarks on training or an excellent guide for a more senior one preparing to recertify. The rapid pace of surgery easily justifies the publication of a new edition. The accompanying DVD provides welcome additional video insights, but does not quite substitute for web-based access often included in books of this kind.