Textbook of Surgery of Larynx and Trachea (Second Edition)

Review by PJ Bradley
Nottingham, UK

It is a great pleasure to be asked to review this Second Edition of Surgery of the Larynx and Trachea edited by two renowned Laryngologists (respected throughout Europe and indeed the World). Both have been stalwart members of the European Laryngological Society since its foundation in 1995 having held senior executive positions of General Secretary, Treasurer and Biannual Conference President.

The first edition published in 2010 (not called a Textbook) contained 18 Chapters, three of which had sub-chapters over 308 pages. This second edition has been much expanded and updated and rightly has now been declared a Textbook with 35 Chapters over 543 pages. It is liberally illustrated with figures (black and white / coloured) with each chapter extensively referenced, with citations as recent as 2021 in some. This second edition follows the same sequence of chapters as its predecessor but has deleted a chapter on benign neoplasms of the adult larynx, while adding chapters on tracheal tumours and exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction, with expansion of chapters on endoscopic surgery, laryngeal papillomatosis, and the role of speech therapy. The contributors are experts in the field, mainly from the European Laryngological Society and European Head & Neck Society, but also from America and Asia. This textbook is a valuable resource for ENT trainees and those super-specialising in laryngology, as well as for experienced laryngologists and head & neck surgeons.

The editors in the preface highlight that in recent years research into laryngeal anatomy and physiology, technical advances, and pharmacological progress have provided the laryngological community with an abundance of new insights into the basic laryngeal functions – protection of the lower airway during deglutition respiration and voice production – and into therapeutic options. The editors also highlight that modern medical intervention in onco-laryngology, including surgery, has progressed from just cure of tumours to preservation and/or improvement of the physical functions of voice and swallowing.

This reviewer was provided with a Hardcover Book which allowed time to comment on the format to include the quality of the print presentation, figures, tables, references, as well as the colour and clarity of the images. The content of information was excellent overall and achieved what the editors promised in their preface. However inconsistency in and between chapters deserves comment – the use of Key-Points summarising the chapters, an expectation of all contributors, was called Core-Messages in two chapters and was completely lacking in one. The figures or illustrations provided, essential for such a publication on laryngeal lesions had several images that were too dark, too red, and a series of 52 images in Chapter 10 have not been numerated The clarity was poor and they would have been better replaced by a line drawing. A number of images would best be described as “cluttered” and would have benefitted from being enlarged and printed on a single page (Fig 5.12 & Fig 32.8). Several images are obviously from other publications or sources , but have not been acknowledged to the original authors. One cites an author, but not the publication, nor has the source been cited in the references. One author introduced a classification of posterior glottic stenosis (page 237/238) yet does not cite the reference. In another chapter the font has changed in the listing of the references and this listing by the various authors is inconsistent, with some including the doi while others did not and yet again others had a mixture. I am unsure whether all of the authors read and acted upon the “instructions to authors” and sadly the final submission of the book was not fully managed overall by the supervising editor or proof setter. Could it be that, reviewing an e-book, these observations may be missed, as only a single page or two can be viewed on the screen at a time?

All-in-all a credit to the Editors and the contributors, as well as the publishers, in getting this publication from the authors to the study desk of the readers, in what seems to have been a short time period. Every budding Otolaryngologist and even those considered experienced Laryngologists should avail of their own copy of this volume, as there is much clinical practice information contained within and, if additional information is required, then the over 1,750 references should be researched.

This book remains good value for money.

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