Logan Turner’s Diseases of the Nose, Throat and Ear: Head and Neck Surgery, 11th edition

Review by L Flood

This review really must start with a declaration of a significant conflict of interest! The editor of this, the 11th edition of a classic textbook (which is already a century old), is of course also an editor of this journal. This reviewer counts him as a close friend, for decades past, and any impartiality finally disappears on admitting that the chapter ‘Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear’ was written by one LM Flood (one suspects there were not too many volunteers for that topic). Traditionally, Logan Turner relied on Edinburgh-based authors. These days, the list of contributors is obviously a who’s who of UK otolaryngology, but also includes some of our exports to the antipodes or across the Atlantic, and even a consultant whose birth I toasted with his father (who was then my senior registrar as I was in training) some decades ago.

‘Contributing to the Contributors’ did give a unique insight into the degree of work that goes into a finished product such as this. Let us just say that ‘Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear’ was originally much more in my personal, idiosyncratic manner. The editorial pen shortened it (it is still one of the longest chapters) and emasculated it, to fit in with the general ‘house style’, and I must admit, it works better. The real surprise was the transformation of a few hand drawn diagrams into quite remarkable colour artwork.

There are 70 chapters, and Prof Maran, in the Foreword, assures us that ‘95% of that specialty is between these hard covers’. Well, mine has soft covers, but I would be hard put to spot the missing 5 per cent. A flick through the pages will tell the browser more than any review. The editor has achieved a uniform look throughout, with short ‘punchy’ paragraphs, headings to ease dipping in for information, tables and bullet, or ‘Key Learning’, points. The illustrations are very well reproduced, with colour artwork and excellent printing of the radiology images.

Favourite chapters were those of least relevance to my limited, part-time, clinical duties! Pituitary surgery, neck masses and cerebellopontine angle tumours, or the entire paediatric content, come to mind. The final chapter comes in Section V entitled ‘Miscellaneous’; indeed, it is the sole content. ‘ENT Head and Neck Radiology’ is a massive piece of work. I did enjoy reading a legend to a picture of a traumatic perforation. To quote, ‘…perforation secondary to a slap to the ear. Courtesy of Professor Brian O’Reilly’. Let juniors beware; he seems such a nice chap. I am delighted to learn of ‘FOLIT’, which stands for Feeling Of Lump In the Throat, and will certainly be using that acronym from now on. Tim Woolford demonstrates his rhinoplasty skills, with before and after photographs, but the make-up and hair-do has transformed the young lady too!

To prove I have actually read it and can still make some criticism, the occasional error can be spotted. Some of the computed tomography (CT) scans, whilst superbly reproduced, are a bit small and lack labelling for the trainee. Figure 52.2 is a really nice CT scan of a schwannoma of the geniculate ganglion, but it takes an experienced eye. I am not convinced that Figure 45.6 is truly a subdural abscess, but rather an intracerebellar one. Figures 34.6 and 34.7 have been confused, but surely any reader can tell which of the two is the normal larynx. Figure 57.3 is an axial CT I would accept, but is surely of an alien survivor from a flying saucer. This list is very minor when compared to an earlier edition of Scott-Brown’s Otorhinolaryngology and in no way detracts from the book.

Professor Hussain has done an outstanding job of seeing this work to fruition. We all know that multi-author texts rely on persuasion, charm, threats and pleadings to meet deadlines. Although aimed at our trainees, it actually taught this old timer a great deal.

Amazon Link: Logan Turner`s Diseases of the Nose, Throat and Ear: Head and Neck Surgery, 11th edition
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