Otosclerosis: Diagnosis, Evaluation, Pathology, Surgical Techniques, and Outcomes

Review by A Banerjee
Middlesborough, UK

This textbook comprises three parts: the text, an atlas and surgical videos (on a digital versatile disc (DVD)). The initial chapters of the text are divided into six sections and cover the salient features of basic sciences, investigations, and conservative and surgical management. Each chapter, in each section, is no more than three to four pages long, and distils the essential concepts into understandable bullet points, with some explanation. I love this format as it has enough to jog my ageing memory. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the learning curve. The authors make a very good point that the rapidly declining numbers mean there will be few who can provide authentic training. They quote Yung and Oates who have commented that it will take the entire working life of an otologist to complete the learning curve.

The atlas is the largest part of the book, running to 160 pages. The section called The Art of Stapes Surgeryis worth the price of the book alone! A picture is worth a thousand words. The illustrations, for the section by Christine Gralapp, are detailed but clear. They are accurate and convey the concepts of surgery beautifully. The chapter starts with the rationale and description of the technique for raising the tympanomeatal flap and mobilising the chorda tympani. I enjoyed the discussion of the different techniques used to place the different types of pistons. It deals with the management of intra-operative complications adequately, but line diagrams cannot convey the emotion that goes with one of these complications. There are some lovely colour photographs at the end of this section. However, management of complications would have been best addressed in the DVD. 

The accompanying surgical DVD is a real disap- pointment. The quality of the videos is quite simply terrible. They hark back to the era of Pathé picture newsreels. I had expected much from them, given the effort that had gone into the illustrations in the atlas. There are, however, much better quality videos available on the internet. Of all the sections, this is the one that will be least missed.

Overall, I love this book. I would recommend it to both the budding and the experienced surgeon.

Amazon Link: Otosclerosis: Diagnosis, Evaluation, Pathology, Surgical Techniques, and Outcomes
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