Reviewer: Bruce E Jarrell, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This comprehensive book on colorectal surgery includes diagnostic and treatment modalities for a broad range of colorectal disorders. Nonsurgical management of diseases is also included.
Purpose: The book is intended to be used as an educational tool to teach students as well as practicing physicians the management of common problems, guidelines, and difficulties encountered in the diseases of the colon and rectum.
Audience: This is important reading for trainees in colorectal surgery as well as practicing physicians.
Features: This second edition has been revised and expanded to include updates in diagnostic procedures as well as in the diagnosis and treatment of recently established diseases of the colon and rectum such as HIV. The book is divided into three sections: basic principles and skills, perioperative management, and disease processes. Within these sections are a total of 23 chapters that discuss these topics in detail. Specific disease discussions typically begin with a pathophysiology and diagnostic section followed by classification of the disease and the tailoring of treatment for specific diseases. There are an adequate number of line drawings that are descriptive and useful. In addition there are very good radiographs and intraluminal ultrasound studies. Each chapter contains a segment that has been termed Rounds Questions; this is a list of questions that are typically asked on rounds about a specific disease and a commentary on appropriate answers, references, and related topics. These could be very effective teaching tools in that they come at the end of a chapter so that the students presumably knows the knowledge in the chapter and now is being asked to apply it in a spontaneous way. References are extensive and appropriate. There are two appendixes, which are particularly useful to the student. One appendix relates perioperative orders and obstructions and the second appendix is on common colorectal medications including antibiotics and other treatments.
Assessment: This well-written book covers the area of colorectal diseases in detail. The images and tables are appropriate and very helpful in understanding the diseases. The discussions about diseases are in enough detail to provide a clear plan of management for these patients. The use of the Rounds Questions is helpful in that it demonstrates particular areas that are important for the student or physician to understand and be able to address. The book has a good degree of detail and clearly provides a complete discussion of this disease. I would recommend it to anyone needing a good reference book in this area.