Reconstruction of the Head and Neck: A Defect-Oriented Approach

Review by P Asimakopoulos
Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

This is a practical approach to reconstruction for head and neck cancer patients, and is just as the title describes: a defect-oriented approach. The authors describe different management options and also provide excellent practical tips, such as patient selection and peri-operative care. The various advantages and disadvantages of each management option are presented in a coherent manner, and in relation to achieving the optimal functional outcome. The authors state their preferences for each reconstructive technique in a non-biased manner and in relation to established evidence-based surgical practice. There is a plethora of literature in the references index which can direct the reader towards more detailed reading.  Certain techniques tend to be discussed in several chapters, as they can be used in the repair of more than one type of defect (e.g. radial forearm free flap for reconstruction of both glossectomy and laryngopharyngeal defects). The authors have however avoided dull repetition by presenting features of each technique in a specific way, for each defect.The relevant anatomy and biomechanical considerations for each area of defect are discussed in a concise and clinically relevant manner. The illustrations and clinical photographs are laid out alongside the description of the surgical technique, a very useful presentation style which makes it easy for the reader to follow the surgical process.  A minor criticism would be that the authors could have added more pre-operative pictures alongside the intra-operative and post-operative clinical photographs.The front page is well designed, displaying an excellent colour illustration of a reconstructed defect. The book is certainly a high quality production throughout,with a solid hard back cover on the outside and fine glossy paper within.  Overall, this is an excellent book which gives a concise and clinically relevant overview of different management options used in head and neck reconstruction.

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