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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce E Jarrell, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This book describes upper gastrointestinal surgery as it relates to benign and malignant diseases of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide higher surgical trainees and practitioners with a book that emphasizes evidence-based practice. The book accomplishes this objective well.
Audience: This book is intended for senior residents and practitioners of surgery. However, it is a review for medical students who want a more detailed knowledge base in this area.
Features: This book covers benign and malignant disease of the esophagus and stomach. It includes several chapters on esophageal reflux, on esophageal emergencies and morbid obesity. Each chapter covers specific problems related to each organ system, including topics such as epidemiology and its screening for esophageal cancer, staging of cancer and the actual surgical procedures and the indications. Special teaching points called scalpel code are particularly helpful in emphasizing important parts of the decision-making for a particular disease. Also noteworthy in the book are discussions that include specific studies with results and conclusions rather than summary conclusions from multiple studies. For example, in gastric cancer, in addition to the Japanese studies, five additional studies done outside of Japan are quoted with specific data. This is particularly helpful for the reader to assimilate data into a plan of practice for their own patients. The surgical aspects of the management of this disease are discussed in some detail. For example, with gastric cancer surgery, specific attention is given to types of lymph node dissection and its use in different varieties of cancer, which allows a surgeon to develop a perspective on the general application of these procedures. Another noteworthy portion of the book is the emphasis on multimodal therapy for the treatment of these complex cancers. I was particularly impressed with the chapter discussing palliative methods of treatment for gastric and esophageal cancers. So often, the surgeon is faced with these dilemmas, and this chapter is much more useful than those seen in most other books. I was also impressed with the discussion of the decision-making on Barrett's esophagus and references to recent studies in the literature regarding the use of surgical management for the treatment of Barrett's esophagus.
Assessment: This well-assembled book is clearly written and very focused. It has appropriate illustrations and an excellent emphasis on important points in the management of these diseases. It is aimed at a more advanced surgical level and hits that target well. The book is presented in an attractive format and is eminently readable. Its conciseness and clarity make it stand out from other books written about upper GI surgery. I strongly recommend it as an excellent way to stay current in the management of these complicated diseases.