Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery: Clinical Reference Guide, 4th edition

Review by L Flood
Middlesborough, UK

This is a well known textbook across the Atlantic, but UK readers may be less familiar with it, even in its fourth edition. It is a handy paperback size, but would be quite a weight as content of any pocket! Nearly 750 pages are packed with fine print, in a multi-author text. At first glance I thought this would prove to be a ‘Short Notes on …’ exam revision guide. Now, as Martin Bailey has accused me in the past, I cannot pretend to have read this from cover to cover, but every time I dipped into a subject I was impressed by the depth of coverage but, especially, by the topicality.

This is a well done, truly updated revision. The publicity tells us that all chapters are modernised to include the latest diagnostic and therapeutic information, and that seems entirely true. There are new chapters on anaesthetic and paediatric ORL, new work on transoral robotic surgery and, of particular interest to me, coverage of sleep apnoea. I have rarely learnt so much, in seconds of thumbing through a textbook, as I did reading about central sleep apnoea. The writing style is bullet points in columns, bold type face for headings and very few diagrams. That does not sound like it would make for easy reading, but it is of course ideal for fast access reference and revision on the flight to the exit exams! In practice, I have opened this text many times, picking subjects at random, and have found the writing style reader-friendly throughout.

Raza Pasha does a preface that had me laughing out loud, to the great surprise of Kate, my office mate, who felt sure I had spotted a howler in the text. Now I can see why the earlier editions have worked so well. If you see a copy on display flick through it – well worth it.

Amazon Link: Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery: Clinical Reference Guide, 4th edition
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