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The Art of Aesthetic Surgery

Principles and Techniques, 2nd Edition

Section Editor(s): Gruber, Ronald P. M.D.; Review Editor

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2012 - Volume 129 - Issue 4 - p 1026-1027
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318249d84c
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As a service to our readers, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® reviews books, DVDs, practice management software, and electronic media items of educational interest to reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons. All items are copyrighted and available commercially. The Journal actively solicits information in digital format (e.g., CD-ROM and Internet offerings) for review.

Reviewers are selected on the basis of relevant interest. Reviews are solely the opinion of the reviewer; they are usually published as submitted, with only copy editing. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® does not endorse or recommend any review so published. Send books, DVDs, and any other material for consideration to: Ronald P. Gruber, M.D., Review Editor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, HD1.544, Dallas, Texas 75390-8820.

This is the second edition, printed 6 years after the first, of a book on aesthetic surgery edited by Dr. Foad Nahai and published by Quality Medical. This three-volume set has 90 chapters, written by a variety of well-respected authors. It is accompanied by seven DVDs consisting of 20 operative videos that correlate with the text. The major changes in the second edition, compared with the first edition, are the improvement and addition of the new videos, updated photographs and artwork, and the addition of extra chapters, especially in the areas of breast and body contouring.


The book begins with a comprehensive overview of fundamentals, including patient safety, anesthesia, and photographic essentials. It continues with major chapters on practice management, marketing, and the business aspects of aesthetic surgery. Educating plastic surgeons on the business of aesthetic surgery is crucial. These chapters not only go over the basics of business and practice management but also discuss the experience of the authors. The nonsurgical cosmetic treatment section is also very comprehensive, with useful videos. The third volume, which contains chapters on body contouring and breast surgery, has been expanded with more chapters on new techniques such as external expansion breast augmentation by Roger Khoury and fat grafting techniques.

The majority of the chapters have a summary table section on clinical caveats. The chapters, despite being written by different authors, are uniformly comprehensive. Although not all the chapters follow the same format, one can generally find chapters on the same subject that include the following: pertinent anatomy, clinical decision making, operative steps, postoperative results, and complications. What I enjoyed most about reading this book is the supplementation of additional chapters that draw unique perspectives from the talent of the leading experts in their field. Particularly, the face-lift and neck-lift sections include chapters on various techniques from Drs. Stuzin (“Extended SMAS Face Lift”) and Barton (“High SMAS Face Lift”), and an extensive, more comprehensive chapter by Dr. Marten. A similarly refreshing format is seen in the breast section. I found the chapters in the rhinoplasty section to be outstanding. The primary rhinoplasty chapter and supplemental video by Dr. Rohrich are as comprehensive as any text on rhinoplasty. Additional chapters such as “Hair Transplant” by Dr. Barrera, “Ethnic Rhinoplasty” by Dr. Toriumi, “Female Aesthetic Genital Surgery” by Dr. Alter, and “Gluteal Augmentation” by Dr. Mendieta encourage me to avow this the most all-inclusive aesthetic surgery textbook to date.

I consistently found each chapter to be well written, easy to understand, comprehensive, and accurate. Although the book in general has detailed chapters on operative techniques, the majority are unique to some variation of techniques used by the authors. Examples of this are chapters on endoscopic forehead and on otoplasty. Needless to say, although the authors are clearly world masters of the field and their teaching and techniques may be widely used, these techniques, like any other aesthetic procedure, may not necessarily be deemed as standardized. This conundrum is actually a reflection of the aesthetic surgery field itself, rather than this book. As such, I find this textbook more useful for clinical practice by the newly practicing plastic surgeon or as an updater for the seasoned plastic surgeon, rather than for trainees looking for a comprehensive basic science and clinical review of plastic surgery.

Perhaps the best parts of the book are the accompanying videos that give life to the descriptions in the text. Certain videos, such as the ones on face lift, rejuvenation of the aging mouth, and blepharoplasty, provide great details on both preoperative decision making and the surgical technique. I found these videos particularly useful because they include preoperative dynamic facial video rather than static photographic analysis. Some of the videos seem to be taken from the Baker Gordon Symposium, which includes live operations; thus, no postoperative photographic follow-up is provided. However, the text contains numerous preoperative and postoperative photographs.

In short, this is an excellent, well-organized, aesthetic surgery textbook with clearly laid-out surgical planning and operative techniques supported by well-illustrated figures and preoperative and postoperative photographs. The text provides interested surgeons with an exceptional resource for the arena of aesthetic plastic surgery.

Bardia Amirlak, M.D.

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons