Review by Claire Hopkins
In an increasingly flooded market, textbooks are becoming more niche. Pediatric Endoscopic Endonasal Skull Base Surgery certainly falls into this group, although perhaps a little less so than The Maxillary Sinus, which I read recently and really did seem a step too far…. The main problem is that, fortunately, pathology of the paediatric skull base is quite rare, and no one is going to have a go at a paediatric craniopharyngioma based on reading a chapter in a textbook (at least one hopes), or without a wealth of experience in skull base surgery in general, so I’m left to really wonder who the target audience is.
Overall, many of the chapters in the sections on surgical considerations and reconstructions are written as if for a general skull base textbook, with a paragraph on special considerations in the paediatric age group. For example, one chapter talks about the authors’ series of 100 patients, but, in reality, these, and the images used to accompany the chapter, were almost all adult patients. There are some notable exceptions. For example, a chapter on decision-making in the paediatric age group focusing on endonasal versus supraorbital approaches goes to great lengths to compare the adult and paediatric anatomy, with case examples to highlight the differing considerations.
The main section, dedicated to pathology specific to the paediatric skull base, is useful, although it was a surprise to see chapters on increasingly complex and malignant disease culminate on drainage of a subperiosteal abscess. In reality, while this is the most common pathology described that ENT surgeons will manage, it seemed a little out of place amongst chondrosarcomas and rhabdomyosarcomas! Perhaps odd to include this but no other sinus disease. I would have liked to see some more videos too – a juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma would have seemed an obvious choice.
So, overall, the book is well written, but I don’t think we will be seeing this hit the bestseller list, and I remain undecided as to whether it will find a permanent resting place on the bookshelf. At just over a £100 it is reasonably priced, but I think trainees and junior consultants developing a skull base interest would be better placed buying Thieme’s more comprehensive text on endoscopic skull base surgery by Aldo Stamm.
Amazon Link: Pediatric Endoscopic Endonasal Skull Base Surgery
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