Colorectal Surgery 2nd Edition
Edited by Richard Molloy, Graham MacKay, Helen Dorrance and Patrick O’Dwyer
This is the second book, I have reviewed in this series (the first book I reviewed can be seen at https://www.glycosmedia.com/oxford-specialist-handbooks-in-surgery/ which is a superb book on paediatric surgery) and like the first book, it exudes excellence. It is a relatively small paperback but chunky book and runs to just over 650 pages and is a modest size. But, it sure packs a punch and is a superb review of colorectal surgery. As the title suggests, it is aimed squarely at specialists, but it is important that this book gains a wider audience. Specialist teams in gastroenterology would enjoy reading this fact packed book full of knowledge, experience, and wisdom. Even primary care practitioners would find this book, a treasure book packed full of useful and relevant information.
It is primarily a text-based book but there are the occasional pictures and images which help to amplify the text. However, the text is well written and clear and written in short bursts with the liberal use of bullet points which helps to make easy reading and rapid input of knowledge to the reader. Best of all, despite its modest proportions, this book can act like a reference book or a go to book to read around a specific subject within the field of colorectal surgery. Due to the clarity of the text, it is an easy book to dip in and out of and is useful for both physicians and surgeons. Chapter 11 does cover common operations and is not only useful for surgeons but informative for an audience such as GPs and physicians as well as relevant nursing staff.
The back cover of the book says the book is aimed at the colorectal and surgical community but I think this sells the book, a little short. I think gastroenterologists and even GPs and their associated staff will also find it useful. Considering it is a paperback handbook, there is a huge amount of relevant and patient focussed information here and a great read as well. In a way, this book neatly compliments the excellent Oxford Handbook series, even although it is promoted as a specialist handbook.
Despite the compactness of the book, it covers a lot of territory including the common and less common scenarios. Equally it adopts approaches not always seen in likeminded textbooks. For example, Chapter 9 on stomas is excellent and brings together a lot of details and information not commonly found in one specific section. I found this informative and relevant for a generalist as well as a specialist. Not many books can straddle this group. It is probably the best review section I have read on this particular topic and highly recommended.
The book has modest proportions and so could easily reside in a desk or be part of a reference library and I would suspect for the appropriate staff would be regularly used. Although the book is primarily text based when there are images, they help to augment the text though they seem to be in black and white. However, that does not detract from their usefulness or importance.
In fact, the book is highly recommended and its readership should not be confined to specialist staff. General physicians and GPs and their staff would find this immensely useful, practical as well as informative. It is not cheap, but it is rich in quality and like many of this type of publication, it does not come bundled with a digital version which I think is a shame. Putting aside these minor gripes, this book is excellent.
Dr Harry Brown
8th December 2021