Atlas of Otologic Surgery and Magic Otology

Review by L Flood
Middlesborough, UK

The title alone of this massive, two-volume textbook will obviously attract attention or curiosity. The first volume I cannot lift one-handed, and it does run to over a thousand pages so this is not just a failure of my physique.

Although entitled an atlas and indeed carrying colour illustrations on every single page, there is also an excellent, multi-author text. The panel of contributors draws heavily on the first editor’s South American contacts, but includes many of the big names from further north and from Europe, although any UK contribution seems lacking.

Clever editorial work has ensured a consistency in style, and this is particularly evident in the series of chapters on cochlear and brainstem implantation. These two hundred pages would have made for a reasonable book in themselves, and topics covered include surgical approaches in radical cavities and in obliterated cochleae, bilateral or hybrid implants, residual hearing… you get the picture.

There is excellent coverage of basic sciences, imaging and surgical techniques, and the book is remarkable value, including as it does a DVD (which I defy anyone to extract without tearing the front page, as I did). The DVD reproduces the images from the text of course, but also has many excellent operative videos which will be a godsend for teachers and lecturers (who will of course surely acknowledge that other, more skilled hands are at work). The picture of a baffled sheep staring out of page 1067 will long stay with me, as I laughed out loud!

The title. I am not sure I ever really followed the ‘Magic’ suggestion, and it might deter those potential readers who are a little conservative in their outlook. There are those who would dismiss sac enhancement surgery, a chapter topic here, as requiring paranormal intervention to be effective, but I doubt that was the intention. I read through this book in my hospital office whilst playing the Grateful Dead on my PC, so may have been a little more attuned to the philosophical musings and idiosyncrasies that characterise this book. You may need to know your Star Wars if you are to follow the Dedication in the Preface for example and, if so, you’ll spot their mistake in Jedi history. The subtitle ‘The International Team Approach Based on Pathogenesis’ is less catchy but may be more familiar.

The book will appear in English, Spanish and Chinese and deserves to be a great success. It is a high quality print and comes in a strikingly handsome cover. But it weighs a ton.

Amazon Link: Atlas of Otologic Surgery and Magic Otology
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