Handbook of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

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Review by L Flood
Middlesborough, UK

Even in this age of such portable access to on-line guidance and protocols, there is still a place for the handbook. At over 800 pages, this book would fill a large pocket, but, with its small print, it does contain a mass of highly concentrated information. In addition to the expected chapters on otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, there is a good opening section on the ‘basic sciences’ of our practice, and a closing section on US facioplastics. It is impressive, in what could have been just ‘brief notes on…’, to see instead, amongst the 160 chapters, sections on haematology for the otolaryngologist, robotic assisted head and neck surgery, and geriatric otolaryngology. How amusing to read the opening sentence of the last: ‘The elderly population is expanding rapidly’.


Each chapter follows a standard format, allowing for easy reference. There are many monochrome line diagrams of anatomy and, occasionally, of physiology. The emphasis throughout is on diagnosis and summarised management of disease processes. Inevitably, there is less detailed coverage of audiology, imaging and surgical techniques. Medical students could usefully ‘dip into’ this book, but it is better suited to the specialist trainee as an aide memoire and for exam revision. It is more a reference book than an easy read for the train. At random, I selected chapters on temporomandibular joint disorders, inverted nasal papillomas and subglottic stenosis. I was rewarded with detailed discussion to rival many multivolume standard textbooks, with a useful bibliography of recommended reading to close each chapter.


This handbook should be invaluable to trainees, but my copy will stay on my book shelf to provide inspiration for the short-notice lecture on topics ‘outside my comfort zone’!

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