Glasscock-Shambaugh Surgery of the Ear, 6th edition

Review by A Bannerjee
Middlesborough, UK

It is always a pleasure to review a new edition of a classic otology text which has been previously read by generations of aspiring ear surgeons. I remember reading an earlier edition as a trainee ENT surgeon, 15 years ago. It is important to update any medical text on a regular basis, as surgery is not a static field.

This current edition is very different from the one that I cut my teeth on. It has been edited by three eminent otologists, Julianna Gulya, Dennis Poe and Lloyd Minor (of superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome fame). I am grateful to Liam Flood for the opportunity to review this latest version.

This sixth edition reflects the current state of the art in ear surgery. It includes a DVD, with 30 video clips of current diagnostic procedures and surgical techniques. The layout of the text has changed, because of a change in publisher. I must confess that I personally preferred the layout of the previous edition, and the fact that the book text also came on a disk that one could read on a laptop while on the train down to London.

The text is divided into eight different sections, covering basic sciences, clinical evaluation, principles of surgery, and surgery of the external ear, mastoid and inner ear. The last two sections cover surgery of the internal auditory canal, cerebellopontine angle complex, and, separately, surgery of the base of skull. The number of diagrams has significantly increased, and this is the first edition in which colour has been introduced in the text. I was particularly impressed with the changes in the chapter on vestibular physiology and disorders of the labyrinth. This is not surprising, as Lloyd Minor is one of the authors.

I also particularly enjoyed the chapter on tinnitus, by Jastreboff. The block diagram outlining the neurophysiological model of tinnitus is very useful, and I have now incorporated it into the explanation that I give my patients with tinnitus.

There is a new chapter on endoscope-assisted ear surgery, and the colour pictures do lend themselves to better understanding of the full potential of this emerging modality for ear visualisation. 

Finally, the temporal bone section of the book has been redone. With the introduction of colour pictures, this section can easily replace one of the many colour atlases that are currently used as a template for temporal bone dissection. The quality of the colour pictures in this section is not consistent, but I am sure this will be remedied in the next edition of the book.

In conclusion, I feel that this is a comprehensive text-book on both surgical and non-surgical otology and neurotology. The new chapters on tumour biology, stereotactic radio surgery and ossicular reconstruction are an improvement. This classic text has also preserved its historical heritage, incorporating many of the early innovations of the pioneers of otology who have influenced modern surgical techniques and practice. I would wholeheartedly recommend this to any aspiring or established otologist.

Amazon Link: Glasscock-Shambaugh Surgery of the Ear, 6th edition
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