Atlas of Pediatric Head and Neck and Skull Base Surgery

Review by L Flood
Middlesborough, UK

This is one book that really merits a review of its content, as the casual browser could easily underestimate that. At first glance, I took this to be a book concentrating on paediatric neoplasms of the head, neck and skull base, and, hence, appealing to a very limited readership. I do think that, to many of us, ‘head and neck’ is associated with oncological surgery, while an ‘atlas’ can mean lots of illustrations, but limited text. This is far more than that, and, while it might be a bit premature in early April to hint at a ‘book of the year’, this has to be a contender.

At nearly six hundred pages of plentiful text and a profu- sion of high-quality illustrations, this book immediately impressed. The usual multi-author format is drawn primarily from the USA and Israel, but with some European input also (most notably from Italy). As an atlas, it works brilliantly. Monochrome reproduction of imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scanning, is sharply printed and well labelled. Colour diagrams are particularly attractive. Personal favourites are those illustrating Chandler’s classification of orbital sepsis (few get that right in an examination) or those of the various branchial cleft abnormalities. I thought only a Haytham Kubba lecture could make the latter understandable, until I saw the diagrams here. Supraglottoplasty is usually an ill-defined term in the literature, but that is not the case here, and is again accompanied by really appealing diagrams.

There are many per-operative photographs (and of course access to online videos) illustrating surgical techniques and there is a remarkably consistent quality to them. Favourites for me were in the chapters on ‘Pediatric Transoral Robotic Surgery’ or on ‘Pre-auricular Abnormalities’.

It should be obvious by now that this is a very comprehen- sive book, covering almost the whole range of paediatric otorhinolaryngological surgery, from the basic sciences, through oncological, rhinological, reconstructive and trauma surgery. All that is missing is the ‘oto’, hence the book title. Even then there is a chapter on brain stem implants, on otoplasty and, of course, on lateral skull base surgery. The content ranges from the most advanced navigation system surgery, to powered surgical tools in rhinology, robotic devices and free flap reconstruction. Equally, it encompasses the more ‘routine’ procedures, such as microdebrider adenoidectomy or paediatric tracheostomy (but here with a selection of three techniques). I would have liked more coverage of atypical mycobacterial infections, but that is a minor deficiency.

This is an extraordinary and very important publication. Its contents would more than get a candidate through the 30-minute viva in our Intercollegiate Fellowship examination, and it is of obvious value to all trainees, internationally. It does, however, have a very advanced content also, which will surely appeal to the most senior subspecialist. It strikes me as being very good value for its huge content, and you may have noticed that I quite liked this one.

Amazon Link: Atlas of Pediatric Head and Neck and Skull Base Surgery
By purchasing books via this link you will help to fund the JLO