Parathyroid Surgery: Fundamental and Advanced Concepts

Review by J Smith
Birmingham, UK

Parathyroid Surgery: Fundamental and Advanced Concepts is a timely and welcome addition to the literature on parathyroid disease and its surgical management. The subspecialty has undergone significant changes in recent years, both in terms of diagnosis and management strategies, and the book is a response to this. As illustrated by the book, there is a growing need for parathyroid surgery. This is driven by increased diagnosis through screening, ageing populations, as well as increasing numbers of patients with abnormalities of calcium and phosphate metabolism, particularly those on renal replacement therapy. By keeping the scope broad, the authors have given this book wide appeal, and it represents a useful text for medical students and residents alike. In addition, the advanced sections, including investigation, surgical treatment algorithms and management of patients with complex disease, make it an essential text for practising surgeons of all abilities and from all backgrounds. The modernity of the text, with its authorship from a combination of surgical backgrounds, further illustrates its up-to-date nature and forward projection.

The book is logically set out and works both as a complete text and as a series of well-constructed subsections. The book charts every aspect of parathyroid surgery, from the history of parathyroid disease to surgical advances, including robotics, minimal access surgery and advanced imaging modalities. Importantly, consideration is also given to future directions and areas for ongoing research. Although subsections are written by specialists within each field, the overall style is well maintained by the editors, ensuring flow and progression, whilst keeping the subject of parathyroid surgery at the forefront of the discussion. The flow of chapters and the consistent style enable the reader to access the content in either a continuous or an interrupted manner, further broadening its appeal. In addition, subsection editors give the book scope beyond the surgical discipline, whilst not compromising the overall feel as a surgical text.

The content is well presented with appropriate and clear illustrations throughout, which augment the presented text without distracting from it. As such, it should be regarded as the complete text for the parathyroid surgeon. For trainees, however, one might have expected more in the way of links to other forms of media such as online instructional videos. Such links can greatly supplement written descriptions of procedures and techniques, and play an increasing role in modern training. In addition, subsection ‘key-points’ and ‘highlights’, with a greater use of treatment and management algorithms, may have aided navigation through chapters of relevance for those wishing to examine the topic without delving into it completely. That said, the aims of the text are well maintained, with relevant, succinct and surgically directed content throughout; such tasks are not easy to achieve when covering an entire topic.

Overall, this is a well-resourced and logical book, with wide appeal to those managing patients with parathyroid disease. It achieves its ultimate goal of defining parathyroid surgery as a subspecialty in its own right, rather than an aside in textbooks on thyroid disease. As an inaugural edition, I am sure the book, and its future iterations, will become established as a vital text for parathyroid surgeons. It is a welcome addition to the literature, bringing together recent advances in investigation and treatment, and meeting a demand for increasing surgical which we work. 

Amazon Link: Parathyroid Surgery: Fundamental and Advanced Concepts
By purchasing books via this link you will help to fund the JLO