Ophthalmic Surgery, Principles and Practice, Third Edition; George L. Spaeth, MD Saunders, Philadelphia, 2003. ISBN # 0-7216-6972-7, $175.00
Scope: This is a 787-page, multi-authored, single-volume textbook edited by a respected senior glaucoma surgeon from Wills Eye Hospital. The text covers indications for surgery, surgical technique, and complications.
Contents: There are 66 chapters filled with useful information about various ophthalmic surgical and laser procedures. The style and writing are clear and the chapters are well-organized. There are 100 contributing authors, each highly regarded in their respective subspecialties. All aspects of surgical ophthalmology-cataract surgery, corneal surgery, glaucoma surgery, oculoplastic surgery, extraocular muscle surgery, vitreoretinal surgery, ocular oncology surgery, and ocular trauma surgery-are addressed. Also, there are additional sections particularly useful that discuss perioperative issues, anesthesia, infection prevention, lasers, and endophthalmitis.
Strengths: The editor has done a credible job in reducing repetition across sections. The black and white illustrations and drawings are pertinent and helpful. The chapters on glaucoma surgery and lasers are especially well-written and detailed.
Weaknesses: The editor readily admits that the book does not include "every procedure." The operations of special interest to neuro-ophthalmologists are omitted, including orbital decompression, optic nerve surgery, tarsorrhaphy, and removal of eyelid tumors. In addition, the section on refractive surgery is not as detailed as one might like (there is no discussion of wavefront technology). The section on oculoplastic surgery does not include information on chemodenervation (botulinum toxin) for blepharospasm and hemifacial spasm.
Recommended audience: This book is intended for the general ophthalmologist and subspecialist. The authors have managed to keep the discussions broad-based yet comprehensive. The book can also serve the ophthalmologist-in-training as an excellent resource for the operating room and for studying for oral board examinations.
Critical appraisal: This is a comprehensive textbook covering important aspects of ophthalmic surgery. It provides significantly updated material since the last edition, published 13 years ago. I would recommend this book to all practicing ophthalmologists. The editor should be commended for his product.
Anil D. Patel, MD, FRCSC, FACS
Dean McGee Eye Institute; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma